John Te Reo reaches 200 ISC Games Milestone By Lee Reilly One of Wynnum Manly’s favourite sons, John Te Reo, will bring up his 200th Intrust Super Cup match this weekend when the Seagulls face the Redcliffe Dolphins this Saturday night at Dolphin Oval. The 31 year-old has seen the game change in front of his eyes and believes the Intrust Super Cup is a lot harder than ever before. “People playing the game have gotten harder, I’ve noticed that.” There have been many highlights, most notably Wynnum Manly’s titles in 2011 and 2012, but a Grand Final loss to the Redcliffe Dolphins when playing for the Toowoomba Clydesdales still burns brightly in his memory. “The back to back premierships will always standout,” Te Reo said. “In my first year playing for Toowoomba, (it was great) making the grand final that year but losing to Redcliffe was a bitter sweet moment. I thought that one was in the bag.” The strong culture of the Seagulls and a motto of loyalty is something the 31 year-old loves about the club. “There’s no fairytales to the place, what you see is what you get. Everybody makes themselves at home, there’s a warm feeling when you walk in the door. “You always want to be around the club, people that go to Wynnum always seem stay loyal.” One thing that the likeable Kiwi remembers is how important North Queensland Cowboys premiership winning coach Paul Green was in installing a professional attitude to the club. “You could see it from the start; he’s just professional in what he does. He always takes care of his players, especially in regards to staying on top of injuries, training and rehab. He made a semi-professional club in Wynnum-Manly seem like it was a professional club,” added Te Reo. “He didn’t mind spraying people on the spot, didn’t mind singling players out. I guess that’s just how it should be. If you want to be at a professional level you shouldn’t be afraid to single people out on their mistakes, I like it.” According to the hooker a lot of the traits he saw first-hand from Green seemed to have rubbed off on current Wynnum Manly coach Adam Brideson. “Brido’s (Brideson) a bit the same as well, doesn’t mind singling people out, as he should. “What you see from Brido is what you get. He’ll shoot from the hip as well. He was like that when I was playing with him and he hasn’t changed much. “He’s a good coach and he could be the next big thing to come out of Wynnum-Manly.” Te Reo joins the 200 club not long after good mate Mathew Seamark brought up the same milestone last month. “We’ve been good mates since we came to the club at the same time. “I always played next to Matty so we make sure that we know what each other is thinking. If he did something wrong, I would probably blow him up and vice versa if I ran a bad line or I didn’t do something right.” His playing career also saw him play in the NRL for the Brisbane Broncos back in 2007, where he played seven first-grade games. The 31 year-old has often wondered what could have been but is proud of his achievements. “I guess I could have done things better back then but I think I was just young. “It was a bit surreal, I think it went too quick for me and I really didn’t savour the moment. “I was so happy to play. I think if I had another year there it would have been a lot more different. “I’m just happy with the people I met when I was out there. I’ve got some good friends and it’s one of the highlights of my life.” Last week’s 36-18 win over Central Queensland Capras keeps the Seagulls’ slim finals aspirations alive and Te Reo hopes they can upset the third place Redcliffe Dolphins on Saturday night. “It is good to get a win and (hopefully) that snow balls into the next few weeks. “Redcliffe will be a big game that we need to win. Every week now is important and when we go out there, we need to do the jersey proud.” Seagulls Sign Shaun Nona By Seagulls Media The BMD Wynnum Manly Seagulls are pleased to announce the recent signing of premiership winning playmaker Shaun Nona for the remainder of the 2017 season. Nona, 26, has arrived from the St George Illawarra Dragons after signing before the June 30 deadline. The half had been playing for feeder side the Illawarra Cutters where he won an NRL State Championship in 2016. The injuries to Travis Burns (hand), Patrick Templeman (shoulder – season), Aaron Booth (foot), Mathew Seamark (shoulder/hand) and Mitchell Cronin (hamstring) prompted the Seagulls to add the quality playmaker for this season. Nona’s signing helps fill the void left by this devastating injury toll, whilst adding class to the Seagulls outfit intent on playing finals football. Seagulls CEO Hanan Laban believes Nona will give the club an extra boost at an important time in the season. “Shaun is a proven match winner at Intrust Super Cup level and has spent a lot of time in the NRL system with both the Storm and Dragons,” Laban said. “He has a professional approach to his football and possesses the play making ability to make a difference to our side. Our injured halves are still a few weeks away and we are at the stage of the season where we need to win football games so he has come at a critical time”. Nona’s signing means that he will return to the Intrust Super Cup where he played an instrumental role in guiding the Northern Pride to premiership success in 2014. Shaun Nona: Playing history Premierships > 2016 Intrust Super NSW Premiership Winner – Illawarra Cutters (NRL State Championship Winners) > 2014 Intrust Super Cup QLD Premiership Winner – Northern Pride (NRL State Championship Winners) Representative Honors > NSW Residents: 2016 > QLD Residents: 2014, 2015 Previous Clubs > St George Illawarra / Illawarra Cutters: 2016 – 2017 > Melbourne Storm / Easts Tigers: 2015 > Northern Pride: 2012 – 2014 Optus Insider | Max Elliott ready for battle By Lee Reilly Wynnum-Manly lock Max Elliott is well aware that Saturday night’s match against Souths Logan is a must win if the side is any chance to play finals in 2017. According to Elliott, there were many factors why the Seagulls were beaten by the Sunshine Coast Falcons last Saturday night at BMD Kougari Oval. “(The game) just didn’t pan out, we got out enthused. (We) couldn’t chase down what was already on the board,” Elliott said. “I think back to back penalties, second phase play and the amount of metres they made through the middle just really put us on the back foot.” The battle of the forwards will go a long way to determining who will come out on top at Kougari on Saturday night; an issue which was spoken about right after last week’s loss to the Falcons. “The emphasis was a lot more on the forwards. “If we can get on top of (their forwards) we should be able to get (the win).” The Seagulls will be hoping history repeats on Saturday night with Wynnum-Manly having defeated Souths Logan 17-4 in the opening round of the season. The home side also has a far superior head to head record against the Magpies with 29 wins to their 11 and one draw. But Souths Logan have been hard to beat on the road this year registering five wins, meaning the game will be a hard fought contest. Round 17 of the Intrust Super Cup also marks Indigenous Round. This weekend, the Queensland Rugby League and the Major Competitions are acknowledging the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the game by celebrating a number of key anniversaries. Prepared in conjunction with the QRL’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, all home clubs will broadcast a special message outlining some important milestones. Significant milestones to be recognised during Indigenous Round: > 50-year anniversary of the 1967 Referendum > 25-year anniversary of the Mabo Judgement > 20-year anniversary of the Torres Strait Islander flag > 20-year anniversary of the 1997 Bringing Them Home report Prior to kick off, the Yulu-Burri-Ba dancers will be demonstrating Traditional Indigenous Song and Dance to kick off the Quandamooka Festival. Matty 200 | Seamark’s Milestone By Lee Reilly Seagulls half-back Mathew Seamark will bring up his 200th Intrust Super Cup game when Wynnum-Manly takes on the Sunshine Coast Falcons this Saturday night at BMD Kougari Oval, an Honour quite deserving of the modest 30 year-old. “Ten years, long time ago now. I know at the start I didn’t play too many games as there were a lot of established players here.” “It’s been a long time playing and to reach two hundred (games) is a big achievement and one that I’m proud of. I remember it being such a wonderful club and still is,” Seamark said. Career highlights have been a plenty including lifting aloft back to back premierships trophies in 2011 and 2012. “Obviously 2011 and 2012 was a great time at the club and obviously to win two (premierships) is awesome.” The popular Seagulls stalwart other career highpoint was representing Wales at the 2013 World Cup. “It was six and a half weeks on tour playing against different nations. What can I say; it was the best time of my life.” One of his tour team-mates was a young St George -Illawarra Dragon by the name of Tyson Frizzell, now a NSW Origin and Australian test regular. “He was only 19 or 20 years old when he played for Wales then. He’s come on in leaps and bounds now.” Seamark returns to the No. 7 jersey after a neck injury put the pivot out of action for two weeks and sees Aaron Booth shift to five-Eighth with William Brimson dropping out of the side after injuring himself in Sunday’s 16-6 win over the Norths Devils. Seamark returns to a Seagulls side that has won two in a row at home and wants to turn Kougari Oval into a fortress. “Our performances at home haven’t been good enough, so we need to show our fans we can still win at home.” “We just need to get ourselves in order and the rest will look after itself.” FINAL WORD | with Mitch Frei By Lee Reilly For Wynnum-Manly Seagulls Captain Mitch Frei, Sundays match is a must win and Norths Devils will be a tough assignment. “They’ve got a pretty good side. A lot of experience in this competition (Intrust Super Cup) and first grade (NRL) as well.” “One thing I’ve noticed with the competition this year is how close it is. There’s not too much difference between the top and the bottom teams. You probably don’t have those weeks where you’re going in thinking you have an easy win. You’ve got to turn up every week and we’ll definitely be doing that on Sunday against Norths.” For Frei, the transition back to Wynnum-Manly – after a season with the Sydney Roosters in the NRL which netted the 25 year-old six first-grade games – has been an easy one. “It’s been a good transition for me actually. A lot of the players I played with are still here.” “Since I have come back it hasn’t felt uncomfortable and I’ve fitted right back in.” Frei believes the high standard of the Queensland Cup is fast making it the best competition outside of the NRL. “It’s a very physical competition. I think it’s probably working its way up to maybe being the second strongest rugby league competition in the world.” “There are a lot of people who have played first-grade; there are a lot of people who have played for a very long time. It’s a very tough competition, always has been and probably always will be.” Last week’s convincing 46-8 victory over the Tweed Heads Seagulls was a perfect way to start the sides four-game block at BMD Kougari Oval, and just the type of game the side needed. “We’ve been waiting on a game like that for a little while now. Everything clicked together. It was just a real good effort from all the boys and a good confidence booster going into this week.” Wins at home have been an issue in 2017 for Wynnum-Manly, something the side has talked about at great lengths and wants to rectify moving forward for the rest of the season. “We pride ourselves on winning at home. That’s something we’ve been poor at this year. So we have had a conversation about making sure we can win the rest of our home games.” “We are in a position where we do need to win a lot of games to make the top 6, so winning all those home games will help out with that.” Sunday also marks a live QLD Intrust Super Cup on Channel Nine, which according to the 25 year-old only helps enhance the competition. “I think it’s really good with what Channel Nine do with our competition. It gives us all a little bit of exposure. It expands our competition and puts the young players coming through on the map.” Frei said. Match Report | Seagulls 16 – Devils 6 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.