The Norths Devils lost control of their finals hopes when Wynnum Manly scrambled to victory at a windswept BMD Kougari Oval this afternoon.
The Seagulls’ 26-24 win came after both teams were unable to score a try in the final half-hour as the brakes were applied after a combined eight tries in the opening 50 minutes.
The match came down to a penalty goal by Wynnum Manly’s Shaun Nona in the 68th minute before Norths unleashed several raids.
The Devils spurned a penalty goal chance in the final minutes, preferring to chase the victory that would have kept them in the logjam for top six places.
Instead, promising offensive sets into the left and right corners came unstuck as the Seagulls, already out of finals contention, held on to defeat the Devils for the second time this season.
The result left the Devils in eighth place after all other matches this weekend went against their finals hopes.
Norths must now defeat the Cutters in Mackay next Saturday and then topple Ipswich at Bishop Park in the final match of the regular season to have a hope of a finals appearance; with other results also having to go the Devils way to end their finals drought.
The day had looked more promising for Norths after they brushed past the Seagulls’ defence for tries in the 43rd and 47th minutes, taking an ominous 22-18 lead with a strong wind at their backs.
But Wynnum Manly hit back in the 50th minute, using the wind to regain the ball from the restart and then cashing in on one of the many penalties blown in a match that failed to hit a consistent pace.
Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard scored the game’s final try before a grind to the final siren as 10 penalties were blown in the final 30 minutes.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 26 (Junior Pita, Patrick Carrigan, Salesi Funaki, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard tries; Shaun Nona 5 goals) def NORTHS DEVILS 24 (Todd Murphy 2, Michael Sio, Troy Dargan tries; Todd Murphy 4 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.