The Souths Logan Magpies proved too slick for an under-strength Tweed Heads Seagulls in Round 18, claiming a 36-14 win at Piggabeen Sports Complex.
The Seagulls have now dropped back to 11th position on an incredibly congested Intrust Super Cup ladder after their third successive loss.
On the flip side, the Magpies were impressive in their first victory since Round 12 against the Ipswich Jets and are back in the top six on 20 points, with the Seagulls one of four teams just two points behind with six rounds remaining.
Souths Logan dominated most of the game with their physical defence and more robust running, but the turning point came 13 minutes into the second half when Seagulls’ Titans-contracted five-eighth Kane Elgey was denied a try through a double-movement ruling when a six-pointer would have put them back into the game at 16-12.
Fullback Ali Grant set up the play when he swooped on a kick in his own half and beat five tacklers before being pulled down 25 metres from the line, pushing the ball to the left. Elgey dummied and broke through, but was cut down around the legs by Magpies right centre Dan Russell.
While momentum took Elgey over the line, he planted the ball over his head while on his back. However, his ball-carrying hand had hit the ground and the referee ruled a double-movement.
In their next set from the resulting penalty, Magpies other centre Len Magley brilliantly beat the defence with two left-foot steps in a 40-metre run to set his team on the way to a convincing victory.
They went on to lead 36-6 against a Tweed Heads that later crossed for two consolation tries in the final minutes.
The Gulls – without key players Cheyne Whitelaw, Brayden McGrady (both out for the season with ACL injuries), Tristam Lumley (broken hand), Hiale Roycroft, Brendan Elliot and Leilani Latu (Titans call up to replace Jai Arrow) - were on the back foot early and were penalised 6-1 in the opening 20 minutes, giving the Magpies a glut of possession and territorial advantage.
They conceded tries in the 12th minute, to Souths Logan winger Cameron Booth after a shift to the right, and 16th minute through Russell in the set of possession from the kick-off.
Yet they steadied and were in the match at 10-6 behind at the break through a converted ty to Grant on the right edge, despite Souths Logan dominating.
The Magpies gained momentum again straight after the break and halfback Sam Scarlett crossed after great lead-up work by Magey who busted a tackle and offloaded to Scarlett on the inside.
The match developed into a slugging arm-wrestle for the next 15 minutes before the Elgey no-try and from then, Souths gained confidence they desperately needed after their poor run of results and ran in three converted tries in 17 minutes - to Magey, and a double to right winger Benaiah Bowie, his second a 70-metre runaway effort after he fielded a poor Elgey bomb.
Elgey picked up a try in the 70th minute before his Titans team-mate Kiah Cooper snuck over in the right corner in the final 10 seconds in front of over 100 of the Seagulls’ former players who had gathered for Old Boys day.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 36 (Benaiah Bowie 2, Cameron Booth, Dan Russell, Sam Scarlett, Lenny Magey tries; Guy Hamilton 6 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 14 (Alex Grant, Kane Elgey, Tevita Folau tries; Lindon McGrady goal) at Piggabeen Sports Complex.
Main Photo: File image from Round 12