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Souths show too much class for Seagulls

The Souths Logan Magpies showed too much class for the Tweed Seagulls as the visitors posted a strong 32-0 win in wet conditions at the fields in Tugun.

Down star playmaker and Australian Nines representative Tarryn Aiken, the Seagulls struggled to contain what was a dominant Magpies forward pack that not only set a platform for an elusive backline, but also scored a large sum of points through the middle third of the field.

The Magpies arrived with an imposing squad which featured a number of Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons and international representatives, including PNG Orchids duo Elsie Albert and Amelia Kuk who both got on the score sheet.

Despite a strong southerly at their back in the first half, the Seagulls failed to maintain any territory, putting themselves in the difficult position of having to chase down a 14-point deficit with all the conditions against them.

An early second-half sin-binning to Magpies backrower Tyesha Mikaio gave the Seagulls a 10-minute window of dominance, however, they couldn’t capitalise on what was a must-score period of the game.

While the side remained in the fight, the unforced errors continued in the second half as Souths Logan dominated the game through their middle forwards.

Consistent points by the Magpies were built on relentless field position and pressure which resulted in six tries dispersed across the 60 minutes of play.

Souths Logan five-eighth Meg Ward, who is normally seen on the wing or in the centres, also added four conversions to complete a 32-0 victory away from home.

The Seagulls spine, lead by hooker Abbie Beecher, showed glimpses of their potential as they continue to improve their chemistry without Aiken.

Steph Hancock with the ball for Souths Logan Magpies. Photo: Jason O'Brien / QRL
Steph Hancock with the ball for Souths Logan Magpies. Photo: Jason O'Brien / QRL

This tough loss to start the season did not come without some positives, however, as the small yet mobile side develop their game style and improve their combinations.

Seagulls coach Mike Castle praised the side for consistently showing up in defence, acknowledging that they gave too much ball to what was an extremely athletic opposition.

“Until they got fatigued, their defence was outstanding,” Castle said.

“They got numbers in and tried hard for each other.

“We’ve got plenty of young girls who went well, they tried their heart out, it was just the mistakes.

“We tried to force our hand a little bit and against a big team, you can’t give them the ball.

“If you’re defending more sets than them, you’re always going to struggle towards the end of the game.”

While the Magpies were too good on the day, the Seagulls suffered a setback early in the week where they struggled to train consistently as rain has hindered their prep due to field closures.

Tweed forward Jessika Elliston. Photo: Jason O'Brien / QRL
Tweed forward Jessika Elliston. Photo: Jason O'Brien / QRL

Coach Castle remained positive on the outlook for his side however, suggesting that the unforced errors that kept them out of the game can be quickly addressed.

The Seagulls depth will be improved over the coming weeks, with Jillaroos squad member Kaitlyn Phillips (Mounties) and rugby union prospect Gabby Senft (Queensland Reds) join the side.

Next round, the Magpies will face the Easts Tigers.

Tweed Seagulls will have another challenge and will meet West Brisbane Panthers who posted a gritty win over the Burleigh Bears in their Round 1 match up.