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Last minute try secures Magpies Mitch Cronin Memorial Cup win

The day was special in many ways as fans, former players and the two current Intrust Super Cup teams - Wynnum Manly Seagulls and Souths Logan Magpies - gathered at BMD Kougari Oval for the inaugural Mitch Cronin Memorial Cup.

Both teams slowly walked onto the field in front of the chook pen and past the newly unveiled Mitch Cronin Hill, turning under the posts and walking on to the ground.

The spread out across the field on the halfway line faced the new giant digital scoreboard; those on the field and linked arms and watched a brief video of the great Mitch Cronin.

United for Mitch Cronin. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL
United for Mitch Cronin. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL

You could have heard a pin drop as the 2000-plus crowd stood and observed one-minute of silence to remember a great footy play and amazing human.

Then it was on. You could tell from the kick-off that both teams had come to play.

It was a tight defensive game for the first 10 minutes before Brisbane Broncos star Corey Oates crossed over out wide for a try to put Souths Logan Magpies on the front foot, 4-0.

Their lead was short lived as big Max Elliott barged over close to the sticks and Jack Campagnolo slotted the conversion and the Seagulls were on the board, 6-4.

Just on the 20-minute mark Jayden Berrell jumped on a mistake by Ethan Quai-Ward and forced his way through three tacklers to score next to the posts. Campagnolo slotted the conversion and the Seagulls were out to a 12-4 lead.

The next 10 minutes was dotted with errors and penalties from both sides, which kept the game mid-field.

Lachlan Cooper took advantage of a ruck infringement penalty to score out wide and Isaiah Tass slotted the conversion and the Magpies were only two points adrift of the Seagulls.

Then right on half-time Quai-Ward made up for his earlier lapse by crashing over for a strong try, which Tass converted and Magpies were off to the dressing sheds 16-12 up.

One minute after the restart, perennial finisher Ed Burns gathered a Sam Scarlett bomb and crashed over out wide to tie up the game at 16-16. Five minutes later Seagulls work horse Francis Kalisolaite-Tualau used his formidable bulk to power to the line and extend his arm placing the ball on the line for a great try. Campagnolo converted and the Seagulls had the lead again, 22-16.

Ten minutes later a professional foul saw Zeb Taia sin-binned, giving the Magpies a distinct advantage and they capitalised with a Cooper try was converted by Tass and the scores were locked at 22-22.

Cooper would go on to put in a Hastings Deering player of the match performance and really moved his team around the park effectively. This kept Wynnum on the back foot for much of the second half. 

 

What a game. The Mitch Cronin Memorial Cup Hastings Deering player of the match went to Lachlan Cooper 👏🏻

Posted by Intrust Super Cup on Saturday, June 12, 2021

In the 62nd minute, Christian Hazard was penalised and put on report for roughing the kicker and given the closeness of the game the Seagulls took the penalty and Wynnum were out 24-22.

Just three minutes later The Chook Pen erupted when popular forward Matiu Love-Henry crossed after some great one-off-ruck play by the Seagulls that really turned the Magpies around and had them back peddling. The conversion was missed and the score was 28-22; Wynnum and the crowd were starting to feel like the Seagulls were home.

But the Magpies kept the pressure on and kept coming and their hard work was rewarded with a Ezra Mam try on 69 minutes and Tass converted and the scores were locked again at 28-28.

With five minutes left Jack Campagnolo slotted a field goal from 35 metres out and and Wynnum were up 29-28.

With two minutes left Oates retrieved a Scarlett bomb and ran nearly 50 metres before being brought down by a great tackle by fullback Ben Farr. 

Two tackles later and in the 79th minute, Oates was on the receiving end of a pass that saw him score in the corner, breaking the hearts of the Wynnum side 32-29.

The Cronin family presented the trophy to the victorious Magpies and both clubs enjoyed a meal with the family after the game.

Christian Hazard with the Cronin family. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL
Christian Hazard with the Cronin family. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL

Coach Adam Brideson remarked "it was a great game of footy, played in the right spirit by both teams with Souths been better on the day and deserved the win". 

Victorious Magpies. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL
Victorious Magpies. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL

Wynnum Manly face Brisbane Tigers in Round 11.

The Magpies will play Mackay Cutters.