Seagulls survive Diehard comeback for first win

The Seagulls survived a late fightback from the Diehards to post their first win of the 2019 In Safe Hands Cup season.  

The defending champions were at home at BMD Kougari Oval to take on Valleys in the second-round clash and despite leading by 20-points with 10 minutes to go, only managed to hold on to a 32-30 victory.

The Diehards started poorly, kicking-off out over the sideline and conceding a mid-field penalty. The Seagulls swooped after only 90 seconds of play with a Tristan Hope special.

The Seagulls number nine threw a super in-field dummy before switching left with a cut-out pass to centre Rashaun Denny who still had work to do as he stepped off his left before charging to cross out wide.

Valleys struck back when hooker Zac Friend did the same at the other end of the field. Friend dummied inside before switching the play to the right and finding Glen Ellis.

Running out of park, Ellis put in a nifty grubber in to the narrow in-goal and fullback Jayden Baker, bursting through the runners like Winks, scored the try.

In his 11th year as a Seagull, premiership winning captain John Te Reo started in the five-eighth position and it wasn’t long before the veteran showed his class.

Combining with young gun Adrian Elder, they put right winger Jack Goodsell over out wide, giving Wynnum an 8-4 lead after 23 minutes.

Disaster struck soon after for the Diehards as they fed a scrum 12m from their own line. The first receiver coughed up the football and the ball bounced up nicely for Seagulls back-rower Sam Elliott to regather and stroll over under the cross bar.  

Luke Archer would claw one back for the Diehards and cut the margin to six, but that was quickly erased with another Valleys handling error, this time on halfway.

Seagulls fullback Matt Milson regathered and set sail for the try line until cover defence arrived, but Milson had support on the inside from his wing man, Andrew Richardson.

Richardson travelled the remaining 15m to touch down in front of the scoreboard, giving the Seagulls a 20-8 lead at halftime.

Seven minutes into the second half the Seagulls extended their lead with a simple backline movement resulting in Denny’s second try of the day.   

Shortly after, Seagulls big man Salesi Funaki got his first try of the season with some dance moves, strolling over untouched under the crossed bar.

The Diehards looked gone at 32-12, but in the final 11-minutes the men in blue dug deep and proved how aptly named their club is.

First, Sam Collins muscled over on the left, then with less than five minutes left in the contest, Friend pounced on a grubber, cutting the margin to 32-24.

Straight after, Collins crossed for his second out wide and suddenly the Diehards trailed by two points with two minutes left on the clock.

While it was a mighty comeback, the Diehards simply ran out of time and the premiers held on for their first win of the season.

Elsewhere in the second round of the In Safe Hands Cup, the Tigers emerged as the only unbeaten side left in the competition thanks to a 32-22 win over the Magpies at Davies Park, while Redcliffe remain winless after going down 26-6 to the Panthers at Frank Lind Oval.

In Safe Hands Cup Round 2 results

Seagulls 32 (Rashaun Denny 2, Andrew Richardson, Jack Goodsell, Salesi Funaki, Sam Elliott tries Tristan Hope 4 goals) def Diehards 30 (Sam Collins 2, Jayden Baker, Luke Archer, Zac Friend, Joe Bradley tries Brad Frith 3 goals)

Panthers 26 (James Olds 2, Khan Ahwang, Shane Pumipi tries Khan Ahwang 5 goals) def Dolphins 6 (Justice Utatao try Oscar Carter goal)

Tigers 32 (Max Fesolai 2, Heath Wilson, Jack Walters, Justin Fai, Jarred Tuite tries Brandon Downey 4 goals) def Magpies 22 (Josateki Lalagavesi 2, Josh Bowyer, Jerome Veve tries Josh Bowyer 3 goals)

In Safe Hands Cup Round 3 fixtures

Tigers vs Diehards - Saturday March 30 at Suzuki Stadium, 2.00pm

Dolphins vs Magpies - Saturday March 30 at Dolphin Oval, 4.15pm

Seagulls vs Panthers - Sunday March 31 at BMD Kougari Oval, 3.45pm

* John Devine is a QRL correspondent covering the In Safe Hands Cup

Pos Team +/- Pts
1 Tigers +24 6
2 Diehards +22 4
3 Seagulls 0 4
4 Panthers -4 4
5 Magpies -8 4
6 Dolphins -34 2