Wynnum Manly Seagulls have snared a much-needed win, holding on 28-24 at BMD Kougari Oval despite a spirited PNG Hunters comeback when all hope seemed lost.
Both teams scored five tries in a typical “tale of two halves”, Seagulls coach Mat Head said.
The Chook Pen was cheering loud and proud when Wynnum Manly led 28-0 in what was a clinical performance to that point as the likes of Cooper Page-Wilson, Jack Martin and Luke Gale drove through the middle with the help of crisp service from Tyson Smoothy at dummy-half.
The likes of Josh Rogers, Matthew Milson and Delouise Hoeter then did the bulk of the damage on the Hunters’ line, making the most of their chances.
A few errors from Wynnum Manly after taking the 28-point lead gave PNG a sniff and they jumped on their chances with a number of spectacular tries, the opening through winger Matthew Jesse, shortly followed by a double from Sanny Wabo and it was 28-16 with 15 minutes remaining.
The nerves were jangling for Seagulls fans when Rodrick Tai crossed five minutes later, but by the home side did enough to make sure the Hunters centre didn’t achieve his double until the last play of the game.
Wynnum Manly coach Mat Head said he would happily take the two points and wanted his players to focus on the positive aspects his side brought for most of the game in their discipline and simplicity in attack.
Match: WM Seagulls v Hunters
Round 10 -
Venue: BMD Kougari Oval, Brisbane
“How we played the first half is the standard we want to be and the player feel that way. The second half we let them off the hook a few times and they’re very fast and physical and got the momentum and we couldn’t stop it, but we had enough points in the end to get the job done,” he said.
“We’ve done a lot of work over the bye, over the two weeks and we came wanting to play the way we did, that style of footy. That’s who we went to be and I said to the group that hopefully that first 45-50 minutes shows you who we can be.
“We’ve showed ourselves how we can do it, now we just have to do it for longer periods of the game.”
Seagulls lock Luke Gale said he relished being out there again after an injury-interrupted start to the season and was proud to see his side put it together after their hard work over the past fortnight.
“We know we’re a team that can play and if we stick to our structure, then we can get the job done, but we just need to do that for the 80 minutes.
“Those top teams are going to make you pay for silly mistakes and errors and penalties and that sort of stuff.
“We got away with it today, but we definitely need to put in some work and make sure we build and play for that 80.”
The win may have come at a cost, with the Seagulls waiting to learn the extent of a knee injury that left skipper Brendan Frei on the ground with trainers for several minutes in the shadows of full time.
Match: Jets v Seagulls
Round 10 -
Venue: North Ipswich Reserve, Ipswich
Elsewhere, at North Ipswich Reserve it was all one way traffic for Tweed Seagulls, winning 54-14 over the home side. Seagulls second rower Ioane Seiuli had a day to remember, scoring four tries.
Match: Bears v Clydesdales
Round 10 -
Venue: UAA Park, Gold Coast
Burleigh Bears retained their place at the top of the ladder with a dominant display over Western Clydesdales. Sami Sauiluma and Ken Maumalo both scored doubles, but were outdone by Clydesdales winger Mitchell Watson's hat-trick after a couple of late consolation tries.
Match: Capras v Falcons
Round 10 -
Venue: Browne Park, Rockhampton
In Rockhampton, the Capras and Sunshine Coast Falcons shared the points in an entertaining contest. The Capras played with 12 men for 20 minutes of the match then fought back from 16-6 down at half time to lead 26-20 with 10 to go. Jayden Nikorima scored his fourth try of the match in the 77th minute before a conversion from Sualauvi Faalogo levelled the scores.
Match: Dolphins v Cutters
Round 10 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Redcliffe put on a show at Suncorp Stadium, putting the Cutters to the sword 52-10. The Dolphins had nine different try scorers in what was their fourth consecutive win.
Match: Pride v Magpies
Round 10 -
Venue: Tully Showgrounds, Tully
Meanwhile, the picturesque Tully Showgrounds in Far North Queensland was the venue for the clash between the ninth-placed Northern Pride and second-placed Souths Logan, almost one year to the day after they met at the same venue in 2022.
A healthy local crowd of 1500 were entertained with a free flowing match which was played under ideal cool and dry conditions - conditions that don’t always occur in this tropical, high rainfall region of the state.
Last year it was actually Souths Logan’s home game but this time it was the Cairns-based Northern Pride who claimed the home ground advantage and they started the game strongly, scoring the first try of the match in the 13th minute to take a 6-0, lead which was extended to 8-0 through a penalty goal in the 21st minute.
Souths Logan then struck back when No.9 Blake Mozer scored two tries within six minutes to give the visitors a 12-8 lead with 10 minutes to go in the first half. Then Pride winger Will Partridge bought the crowd to their feet when he raced over in the corner two minutes before halftime to lock up the scores 12-12 at the break.
Souths Logan started to take control of the game five minutes into the second half with a try to winger Jack Smith and then sealed the match with two tries in the 61st and 64th minutes, both scored by centre Jezzy Ioane.
Post-match, Souths Logan coach Karmichael Hunt commented that the trip north to Tully is always a good, tough challenge and that the Northern Pride came ready to play, putting his side under plenty of pressure, especially in the first half. But in the second half Souths Logan were able to stick to their game plan, and get away with the win.
For Souths Logan halfback Jack Campagnolo, a Tully junior, it was a happy homecoming, converting four of his side's five tries.