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Seagulls topple Pride with five tries

The Tweed Seagulls will celebrate a comprehensive victory over Northern Pride in Round 8 of the Hostplus Cup, having beaten the visitors 28-0 in wet and windy conditions.

It was Tweed who would start fast from the kick-off, ignoring the slippery surface to throw some nice shape at Pride in their opening set. A left side shift through Will Brimson got Pride moving sideways and opened up the right hand side of the field for a simple but slick block-to-block shape movement.

Scott Galeano looked destined to finish it off only for some desperate cover defence from Pride to deny him in the corner.

Far from going into their shell, Tweed would look to use the ball in their very next set, working out their own end thanks to Paul Turner’s efforts at fullback before shifting to the right edge to Galeano in space.

As was the case just minutes earlier however, Pride would scramble effectively to shut down Brimson on the following tackle and force the turnover.

For all their efforts defending their own try line, Pride couldn’t seem to trap Tweed down on their own. Some lovely deception from Craig Garvey at half found Brimson down a short side in Tweed’s next exit set which saw Lee Turner offload for Josh Patston into space on the left edge this time.

Lee’s offload was only bested by the support play of Patston and Tweed should have scored on the following play but were again denied when Lee coughed up the ball trying to catch them down the short side for a third time that set.

Four times in the opening 10 minutes Tweed created scoring opportunities but couldn’t convert due in some parts to a desperate Pride defensive unit and in others just poor execution.

Eventually however, Tweed’s dominance would translate onto the scoreboard thanks to some individual brilliance from Paul Turner.

From an attacking scrum the Seagulls took a settler to the left before finding Paul Turner on the right edge with a three pass shift.

Lamar Manuel-Liolevave made a compelling case as a forward distributor as the prop belied his size to shift the ball smoothly from the ruck to the edges a few times on Saturday. In this instance his involvement got Lindon McGrady and Paul Turner running at a retreating defence and Paul’s electric feet did the rest. Try time.

Paul Turner was the catalyst for Tweed’s next try too. The Seagulls’ back three were reliable yardage men working off their own line all game and Lee Turner’s try in the 29th minute was a product of just that.

Presented with a poor kick chase, Paul Turner’s footwork was too difficult to handle in the wet and he skipped 25 metres upfield before linking with Patston on his outside. A lovely offload from the big backrower was enough to put Lee Turner in space and the centre raced away to score under the posts.

Despite facing a 12-point deficit as they returned from the break, Pride did anything but drop their heads and were arguably the better team to begin the second half.

They defended three consecutive sets on their own line to deny an eager Tweed offence but poor handling and ill discipline in defence continued to turn over the ball and the Seagulls would eventually make them pay.

Galeano scored in the 63rd minute, finishing off a clever backline movement that featured Tweed winger Jaline Graham slotting into a fullback role on the right edge. Graham’s speed and footwork was enough to create the overlap and Ione Seiuli would provide the soft hands to find Galeano on the flank.

Seiuli then got a well-deserved try of his own just minutes later when Garvey sold a few dummies to poke his nose through the line and link with Seiuli in support.

Tweed might have saved the best for last however, with Ryland Jacob’s try in the 74th minute featuring everything the Seagulls got right in Round 8.

Garvey’s service from half, Manuel-Liolevave straightening the attack and the skill of McGrady and Paul Turner out wide all proved too much for Pride to handle as the Seagulls notched their fourth win of the season.

Key takeaways

Gold Coast Titans-contracted forward Sam McIntyre has provided Tweed with a nice ballplaying option through the middle this year. However, with the skilful lock named on Gold Coast’s bench this week, the Seagulls needed to look elsewhere for a passing game in the pack and Manuel-Liolevave filled the role admirably. The big front rower was typically effective in yardage but chimed in on a few occasions as a link man between the ruck and the edges. Manuel-Liolevave slotted in at pivot for good effect in the lead up to Paul Turner’s opening try and again for Ryland Jacob’s try in the 74th minute.

Despite the wet weather, Tweed played an expansive brand of footy particularly coming out of their own end on Saturday. Using the speed and ballplaying of Paul Turner and Lindon McGrady, Tweed frequently shifted to their edges in exit sets and found easy metres through centres Scott Galeano and Lee Turner.

The work of Tweed’s outside backs was crucial to this - Paul Turner, Ryland Jacobs and Jaline Graham consistently got the Seagulls’ sets off to a positive start and were the beneficiaries down the other end of the field with tries to four of Tweed’s back five in Round 8.

Coach’s comments

Tweed coach Ben Woolf was pleased with his team’s patience in the testing conditions.

“I thought we broke them down well today in attack,” Woolf said.

“We took some poor options but stuck to our style of play regardless of the weather which was good to see.”

On Tweed’s propensity to use the ball from anywhere on the field, Woolf said he was happy for his players to play what they saw in the wet.

“We move the ball in yardage if the defence is tight," Woolf said.

"The message was play how we play regardless of the weather.”



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