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Tweed Seagulls crowned premiers in undefeated Mal Meninga Cup season

The Tweed Seagulls stuck to the script in Saturday's Mal Meninga Cup grand final, finishing season 2024 undefeated to be crowned premiers.

In a dominant performance at Redcliffe's Kayo Stadium, the Seagulls put their Gold Coast rivals Burleigh Bears to the sword with a 36-12 victory.

It was a fitting finish to a year in which the Seagulls not only ended as minor premiers but also went through the season without recording a single loss and just one draw.

Coach Sam Meskell said he was impressed with how his team overcame the pressure of being the competition leaders to execute against the Bears on Saturday.

"I'm very happy for the boys mostly," he said.

"They do all the hard work. It's been a really good season in terms of results and getting the minor premiership and going through undefeated.

"They probably felt a little bit of pressure today so really happy for them that they got the job done at the end of the road.

"Being undefeated... it wasn't really a focus. I didn't want to make a deal of it because it applies more pressure. But the boys will be quite proud of it.

"There were games where we behind and we came over the top and there were games where we led so they found a way to not get beat all season and that's a credit to their resilience."

Tweed were the first to cross, with Cory Pearse and Billy Wellard combining to capitalise on a Burleigh mistake within the opening minute.

From here however, Burleigh had all the momentum and were firing in attack, constantly threatening with the ball in hand.

They managed to hit back quickly through Jett Bryce in the sixth minute and then earned back-to-back sets, increasing the pressure on Tweed.

It required the Seagulls to defend repetitive sets on the line and this was ultimately where the game was won, as Tweed did not leak a single point in a tense 15 minute period.

A change in momentum then saw Tweed start to runaway with the game as they scored three more tries before the break to go into halftime up 24-6.

Meskell said that defensive period in the first half was the key.

Tweed captain, Zane Harrison. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Tweed captain, Zane Harrison. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

"It was probably everything," he said.

"If we cracked there and conceded two or three then all of a sudden we're chasing the game. That was massive. Luckily when we got an opportunity, we capitalised."

Tweed captain Zane Harrison was named player of the match for his precision and calm nature in attack, while Meskell also gave praise to Wellard and Pearse for stepping up where needed.

Winger Tyson Ploegsma bagged a hat-trick in the victory while Wellard's opening four-pointer was his first of the season.

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