The Tweed Seagulls piled up the points early on their way to a 38-26 win over the Ipswich Jets at Bauhinia Park, Springsure.
It didn’t take long for the Seagulls to register on the scoreboard. Presented with an opportunity to attack in good ball after Ngangarra Barker failed to defuse a Lindon McGrady bomb, Brian Kelly plucked a McGrady cross-field kick out of their air to open the scoring in just the second minute.
As they so often do, the Seagulls looked straight to the edges in return. Left and right, they surged up the field and produced a strong set after points to control the early stages of the match. However, the Jets scored their first in a similar fashion to the Seagulls. This time it was Paul Turner who failed to defuse a bomb, and with five Ipswich players around to clean up the scraps, Blake Lenehan levelled the scores at 6-6.
Back-to-back penalties as the Seagulls worked out of yardage hurt the Jets. Tweed looked to the right side and found success through Turner as he skipped past his defender into the backfield. He couldn’t link up with Scott Galeano to finish the job this time. With another penalty and chance to move the ball though, the Seagulls again looked left. Sam Lisone acted as the trigger in the middle before McGrady provided Turner with early ball to skip to the outside of his man. Passing the ball this time, Turner found his brother Lee who shrugged off his man and sent Galeano down the sideline. Making no mistake, Galeano carried two into the corner and over the line for a 10-6 Tweed lead.
The Seagulls show no fear regardless of the game state. Where a lot of teams look to settle the game down and play with a lead, Ben Woolf’s side continues to explore the edges. If the offload is there, they will throw it and their set after points again ended with an Ipswich error deep in their own end after second-phase play dragged Tweed up the field.
McGrady and the Seagulls needed only one play off the scrum to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Feeding the ball before wrapping around to the left side, McGrady straightened the attack, created the numbers and left his backline with a three-on-two situation which Jamayne Isaako finished in the corner.
Rinse and repeat for the Seagulls in yardage. Another offload created the second phase and Paul Turner skipped through a disjointed defensive line and into the backfield.
Again, the line break itself didn’t translate into points but the field position did. Another look to the right edge through the Turner brothers put Galeano over as the Seagulls built an 18-6 lead after only 26 minutes.
Tweed continued to build pressure through a forced dropout following Galeano’s second but Ipswich weathered the storm to finally spend some time with the ball before half-time.
Lachlan Cooper threatened close to the line as his big right foot step beat the first defender. However, his offload ended up in the hands of the Seagulls who soon added another four-pointer through Will Brimson. The Tweed five-eighth used a magnificent Josh Patston lead to break through the line for a 22-6 lead which stuck through to half-time.
Match: Seagulls v Jets
Round 16 -
Venue: Bauhinia Park, Springsure
Ipswich made their intentions clear after the break. Leaving the ground announcer speechless as the ball moved through, up and around numerous Jets players and hands, Ricco Falaniko strolled over to cut Tweed’s lead to 22-10.
Falaniko broke through the line shortly after, but the Seagulls responded with a strong set of their own. It appeared as though Ipswich had hung on after dragging Patston down just short of the line.
However, as Craig Garvey stepped out from behind the ruck and shaped to pass right, he dropped Lamar Manuel-Liolevave back underneath to stroll over almost untouched.
A try to Kirisome Auva’a and sustained pressure on the Tweed line to follow threatened to put Ipswich back in the match. However, a strong defensive stint and relieving penalty put the Seagulls back into attacking field position, where they once again turned that field position into points.
Going over from dummy half himself this time, Garvey pushed the score out to 32-16 with 20 minutes to play.
The result was put beyond doubt when Kelly strolled over for his second - again on the back of a scrum with Turner involved on the right side - to make it 38-12.
Falaniko managed to score his second and Barker dotted down for the Jets as the siren sounded but the damage had been done. Tweed used lovely conditions for running rugby league to run up a 38-26 victory and play themselves into form ahead of a top-of-the-table clash against the Bears after the bye.
With some big names returning to Ben Woolf’s side for this one, the Tweed attack sung from the start.
“It was good to see the team string the ball well on shifts, and the inclusion of Paul and Jamayne gave us some class to finish the sets off. We let ourselves down at the end of some backline movements but overall, the attack was good,” Woolf said.
Tweed’s attack has clicked at the perfect time ahead of a massive rivalry battle with the Burleigh Bears in Round 17. It doubles as the first Seagulls game at Piggabeen since the middle of June.
“The boys are always up for a big one against Burleigh and will be keen to get a home game after a long run away,” Woolf said.
“If we can keep the same line up, I’m really looking forward to challenging the benchmark team after the bye.”
Match: Seagulls v Bears
Round 17 -
Venue: Piggabeen Sports Complex, Tweed Heads
The Jets will play Brisbane Tigers,
Match: Jets v Tigers
Round 17 -
Venue: North Ipswich Reserve, Ipswich