Gulls go back-to-back to down Tigers
The Tweed Head Seagulls outplayed Easts Tigers in their first home clash at Piggabeen Sports Complex since Round 1, scoring a five tries to two 24-12 victory.
The Ben Campbell Building Group Tweed Heads Seagulls were dominant throughout and will gain confidence going into their trip to Mackay next weekend, having now posted successive victories (they beat Wynnum Manly the previous weekend) after starting the season with five straight losses.
Both sides were terrible with their completion rates in the first 30 minutes, and were unable to build any continual pressure.
Tweed's right centre Brayden McGrady scored the only try in that period from a shift to the right after fullback AJ Brimson came onto the ball to give McGrady a bit of space 20m out.
The only time the Tigers looked dangerous in that period was when five-eighth Brayden Torpy put Adam Crear into space and deep into Seagulls territory, but the kick at the end of the set was easily tidied up by the home side.
Four minutes before halftime, one of several Easts' short line-drops outs they deployed didn't travel the 10m and rather than take an easy kick at goal for a 6-0 lead, the Gulls were rewarded when they took a tap and Brimson scored when good footwork near the line on the left split the defence.
The Seagulls improved their control with the ball in the second half and converted pressure into points with two tries down the right in the opening 16 minutes.
Easts however were out-enthused and struggled for answers with gun Storm half Brodie Croft (who was initially named on Tuesday) not there to add punch.
"We spoke at halftime of just playing with more patience, getting to the end of our sets rather than rushing like we had been and that's what the team did," Seagulls coach Ben Woolf said after the game.
"We played with controlled aggression and better discipline once we got into the grind of the match, and that's what we hadn't been doing in the first five rounds despite genuine effort."
His counterpart Scott Sipple would have been tearing his hair out due to the fact the Tigers just never seemed to find second gear other than a brief period in the final quarter of the game.
The Gulls first second-half try was a brilliant one. After a kick by Lindon McGrady to the right corner, Kiah Cooper won the contest in the air and flipped around and offloaded to fellow Titans-contracted youngster Tony Mata'utia who dived over in the corner.
Six minutes later Tristan Lumley was put into a gap by a Lindon McGrady short ball and found the line to extend the lead 16-0 from four unconverted tries.
Torpy, who captained the Titans Under 20s under the coaching of Woolf in 2015, beat two defenders with right foot steps from close range in the 61st minute then converted to put the Tigers in the match at 16-6 and they lifted in intensity and purpose for the next 10 minutes.
But the Seagulls sealed the win in the 77th minute when hooker Sam Meskell received a 30m bustling run and great offload from centre Brendan Elliot. The experienced rake beat some poor scrambling defence to go under the posts for 24-6.
Tigers fullback Joe Bond scored his side's second try in the final minute after he beat Brayden McGrady 10m out and Torpy – who was Easts' most constructive player – converted the try.
There were strong performers throughout the Gulls team with Elliot, in just his second match of the season because of injury, doing some classy things when his side was under pressure. However, winger Ryland Cooper, a big contributor to the victory with his good yardage from the Seagulls own end, won their players' player award.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 24 (Brayden McGrady, AJ Brimson, Tony Matautia, Tristan Lumley, Sam Meskell tries; Lindon McGrady 2 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 12 (Brayden Torpy, Joseph Bond tries; Brayden Torpy 2 goals) at Piggabeen Sports Complex.