BMD Wynnum Manly Seagulls Hastings Deering Colts have progressed into the preliminary final after a strong second half performance in Saturday.
It was Seagulls vs Seagulls as Wynnum Manly hosted Tweed in a knockout semi-final at BMD Kougari Oval.
Wynnum Manly were boosted by the return of strike centre Grand Hagai, as well as the inclusions of Hostplus Cup regulars Max Plath and Ben Farr, with both having played enough games in the Hastings Deering Colts across 2022 to qualify for the finals series.
A good crowd turned out to see the Colts boys play considering the plethora of finals matches taking place across the weekend.
Wynnum started the better of the two teams, making consistently good metres per set and having many chances to attack the Tweed try line.
John Radel crashed over in the 6th minute to open the scoring, with Ben Farr slotting the conversion.
This weight of possession lead to Wynnum being held up four times over the try line in the first half.
Tweed winger Jett Forbes then took an intercept near his own 10m line, which saved a certain Wynnum try, and ran the length of the field to score.
In their first set from the resulting kick off, Tweed broke through the line to run the field and score again.
From dominating possession and territory, to conceding two tries in 3 minutes, Wynnum Manly were shocked to be behind on the scoreboard.
The score remained 12-6 at half time.
Wynnum head coach Michael Dobson worked his magic in the dressing rooms at half time, as the boys from the Bayside came out a different team in the second half.
The McDonalds Seagulls Academy team went on to score 5 tries in the second and concede 0 points.
Tries to Felix Faatili, Max Plath (2), Grand Hagai and Cooper Hewett sealed the game for Wynnum and the crowd grew in voice with each one.
The second half performance was more like what the Kougari Oval crowd have been accustomed to in 2022, and this performance now sees the Seagulls march on to the preliminary final against the Townsville Blackhawks.
In the match of the season, we’ll see 1 vs 2 on the ladder and also a 2021 Grand Final rematch.
This game will take place at 11am on Saturday at Norths Devils, as a curtain raiser to the Hostplus Cup preliminary final.