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RLB Opens wrap: Seagulls prevail in BMD Kougari Oval thriller

Wynnum Juniors celebrated their first win of the season upsetting Carina Tigers 26-24 in the Rugby League Brisbane Open 1 men’s competition on Saturday.

As part of a bumper day at BMD Kougari Oval that saw the men’s teams do battle before the Hostplus Cup got under way, the performance was delivered in front of their supporters that had also had former Queensland selector Des Morris in attendance.

However, the Tigers were going to make the home side work for their maiden win of the season when they were the first to channel points in the game, through prop Panapa Asiata.

The powerhouse forward was unstoppable from close range and crashed his way over under the sticks on the back end of a superb 40/20 kick.

However, the Seagulls were not going to let this opportunity pass them by playing on the hallowed turf of BMD Kougari Oval and returned serve in the 10th minute of play through fullback Cameron Wilson.

The elusive custodian broke free of the Tigers' defence to cross out wide and post the home side's first points of the afternoon.

Then a momentary lapse in concentration off the scrum by the Tigers saw the Seagulls increase their lead through winger Talib Wallace.

Wallace caught the visitors out of position and used his speed to cross in the corner.

In a hard physical game up the middle, the Seagulls pack led by Sloan Tabua and Jaiden Gream, were outstanding for the home side who held their own against the Tigers.

It would also be Tabua whose rampaging run put the Seagulls in good field position for their next try.

Halfback Kynan Barlow then spread the ball out to his centre Alfred Hape, who made no mistake in crossing the try line.

The Tigers were in dire need of something to ensure the scoreline did not blow out to a cricket score and were left reeling once again in the 29th minute.

Seagulls’ Barlow was in everything and his dummy to the line had the diminutive halfback cross for a superb individual try to see the home side take a 22-6 lead.

However, the Tigers had not put the cue in the rack just yet and on the stroke of halftime crossed in the corner through winger Riley Matenga-Hongara, to see the Seagulls go into the break armed with a 22-10 lead.

After the restart of play, it was as if it was deja vu for Matenga-Hongara, who crossed for his second of the afternoon in the 39th minute.

A stroke of good luck came to Tigers winger Billy Sainsbury, who picked up a loose carry to score and inch Carina closer to the Seagulls.

Then, the flying winger crossed again not four minutes later for the Tigers, which saw Carina hit the lead for the first time 24-22.

But the Seagulls never stopped competing and hit back almost immediately through replacement Joshua Cleland-Williams who crossed for the winning try to see the home side come away with the hard-fought victory.


Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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