By Lee Reilly
The Wynnum-Manly Seagulls kept their finals aspirations on track with a gutsy 16-6 win over Norths Devils at BMD Kougari Oval.
Wynnum-Manly didn’t take long to trouble the scorers when halfback Aaron Booth put centre David Mead through a gap in the 4th minute. Booth converted in front to send the Seagulls 6-0 up.
Seagulls forward Stedman Lefau crashed over next to the posts to get the Seagulls second try in the 25th minute after some great lead- up work from busy rake Jayden Burrell.
Devils five-eighth Gary Riccardi, who was a danger all day for Wynnum-Manly looked to have got the Devils first try but Norths forward Matiu Love-Henry was deemed to have touched the ball as it reached Luke Pollock.
The Devils looked like they were going to go into the half-time break with a try when winger Javarn White pounced on a Mead dropped ball but Pollock threw a forward pass to an unmarked Michael Lucas. The play summed up the Devils’ first half that was riddled with mistakes and errors.
Seagulls flyer Daniel Ogden moved a step closer to breaking the all-time Intrust Super Cup record held by Nathanael Barnes when he crossed the strip to score his 134th try in the 57th minute. Booth added the extras to give the Seagulls a commanding 16-0 lead.
Some quick thinking from Lucas put some respectability into the score-line when he sprinted off the 20 tap, catching the tired Seagulls napping and running 70 metres to give the game a grandstand finish.
The Seagulls were able to hold out Norths and register their sixth win of the season, rising to 14 points on the ladder and a point clear of the Mackay Cutters.
It was an unhappy day for former NRL star Chris Sandow, who hobbled off late in the game with an ankle injury.
One of the shining lights for the Seagulls was boom half-back Booth, playing in only his third Intrust Super Cup match and relishing his time out there.
“It’s just a whole other level of footy, (it has been) a step up, a lot quicker (and a) lot more psychical.”
“I am loving every moment of it,” Booth said.
Seagulls Coach Adam Brideson will be happy to walk away with the two points but knows his side will need to be strong when they face the Sunshine Coast Falcons next Saturday night at BMD Kougari Oval.