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Mal Meninga Cup Round 11 preview

The near-perfect season is within the grasp for Tweed Seagulls.

With seven wins and one draw, the Seagulls are hoping to finish the home-and-away fixtures undefeated, this weekend taking on Brisbane Tigers in the last round before finals.

The Seagulls haven’t played Mal Meninga Cup finals since they won the premiership in 2021, when they had NRL-contracted players Blake Mozer, Tom Weaver and Deine Mariner in the line-up.

They have been building nicely towards this year's finals series, beating the Wide Bay Bulls 76-10 two weeks ago and overcoming future finals combatants in the Ipswich Jets with a 40-16 victory in Round 10. 

They scored eight tries in total but it was the two in the first 11 minutes that put the Jets back in their place.

Tweed had 55 per cent of the ball and had 31 more runs at the Jets and eight line breaks as they marched up the field to give their weapons the time and space they needed.

Jake Lateo took full advantage with 201 run metres and three line breaks plus a try while hooker Cory Pearse was sensational, with his service giving the Seagulls backs time to dine out.

Half Ryder Williams is riding an attacking wave on the back of his monster forwards and when they don’t have the ball, he’s pulling off try-saving tackles for the Seagulls, last week shutting down any hope of an Ipswich fight back.

It was the Lateo and Williams combination that led to Williams' try in the 11th minute of the game.

Tweed in action against Ipswich. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL
Tweed in action against Ipswich. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

Tweed's starts are bringing teams undone - they’ve only been behind at halftime twice in 2024.

But, despite their red hot form, Tweed Seagulls coach Sam Meskell believes a challenge awaits this week.

“Keeping our focus on this week is important. We know we are playing finals next week,” Meskell said.

“Ipswich was good timing last week to give us an opportunity to play another team that’s going to play finals too.

“We have had a strong spine all season, from Lateo at the back, our half Williams and Pearse.

“I think though we are a strong team and we all do our bit and get the result.

“It’s important on Saturday that we defend well. That’s what is going to get us the win next week so you want to have that right this week.”

For the full Round 11 draw, click here.

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