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Tweed show class against Wynnum Manly to advance to decider

Tweed Seagulls booked their ticket to consecutive Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup grand finals after proving too good for Wynnum Manly Seagulls at BMD Kougari Oval, running out 40-18 winners in their semi final.

Headlining Tweed’s performance was barnstorming centre Deine Mariner, who after scoring two tries last week, scored a hat-trick of impressive individual tries while halves Thomas Weaver and Harradyn Wilson both impressed for the away side.

Despite some spirited efforts in defence, constant errors coming out of their own end placed the home side under immense pressure for most of the contest, with fatigue becoming evident in the second half which allowed Tweed to run away for a convincing victory.

Although Wynnum Manly opened the scoring through winger Haizyn Mellars in the seventh minute, from there, Tweed dominated all facets of the game, despite Wynnum Manly scoring some consolation tries late in the contest.

Wynnum Manly score in the corner in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup semi-final against Tweed Seagulls. Photos: Jim O'Reilly / QRL
Wynnum Manly score in the corner in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup semi-final against Tweed Seagulls. Photos: Jim O'Reilly / QRL

With the game still in the balance at 18-6 at half-time, a home side error within the first two minutes of the second half proved costly, with Mariner making them pay as he shrugged off several defenders to score in the 37th minute.

After five-eighth Wilson dominated the first half with a handful of first half try assists including a lovely short pass for Brock Priestley’s try in the 26th minute, it was then his halves partner and captain Weaver who stepped up in the second half, playing an instrumental role in Tweed’s attack.

Tweed Seagulls coach Tim Maccan said he was pleased with the effort his side showed in such a big game, but stressed the importance of staying focused and preparing for next week’s match.

“I thought they competed really well, we wanted to focus on our push and support today in attack and defence and win as many tackles as we could and I thought they followed the game plan well,” Maccan said.

“I’ve just told the boys to reset their minds as there was plenty of media about being the reigning premiers, but that was two years ago and we’ve got new kids here now and there’s no one here that was part of that [premiership-winning side] two years ago, so were going in fresh minded and ready to go.”

Next Saturday, Tweed will face Townsville Blackhawks, who were the winners of the other semi-final played against Central Queensland Capras at Jack Manski Oval.