To make the day even sweeter, our BMD Premiership team beat reigning premiers, Burleigh Bears, in their Round 1 match and debut in the competition, as well as our Cyril Connell Challenge U16s and Mal Meninga Cup U18s teams also getting the win on the day.
Returning Iona College old boys Harrison Graham and Hostplus Cup debutant Max Plath put in strong performances to help Wynnum Manly Seagulls defeat the Northern Pride 26-8.
Iona College and Wynnum Manly established a partnership last season, with the College hosting Round 2 of the Hostplus Cup, bringing community and club together in a fantastic setting promoting rugby league in the area.
A large crowd was on hand to witness some champagne football by both the Pride and Seagulls.
More than 100 past and present Iona students tunneled the players onto the field before kickoff.
The first half began with both teams displaying tight physical defence, that unfortunately was riddled with mistakes.
The Pride scored first in the seventh minute with Pride’s Gideon Gela-Mosby crashing over out wide for a try; Matthew Egan missed the conversion and the Pride were up 4-0.
Then a handling error by the Pride gave the Seagulls possession that culminated with Sydney recruit Sione Hopoate crashing over out wide in the 12th minute to level the scores. Te Maire Martin missed the conversion, and the scores were locked at 4-4.
The Pride crossed again soon after, and went into the break leading 8-4.
Coach Adam Brideson must have said something inspiring during the break, as the Seagulls came out with a new intensity and level of commitment and ran over the top of the Pride.
The Seagulls got behind each other coming in from everywhere when a big hit by Lachlan Lee led to a mistake by the Pride. This attitude led to great cohesion and four fantastic second half tries.
First to Deine Mariner, his fifth in two weeks, converted by Falakiko Manu, then fullback Ben Farr, after a succession of great passes, he dove over out wide for the Seagulls to go up 14-9.
Graham at hooker kept steering the Seagulls around the field from the ruck and was greatly assisted by Kalolo Saitaua, who ran hard all game at first receiver.
TC Robati barged over at the 70-minute mark and with the conversion, the Seagulls had an unassailable lead at 20-8.
There was a huge cheer when the ground announcer let the crowd know former Iona star student Plath had taken the field.
Plath has a great rugby league heritage with dad John Plath a former Bronco.
The crowd erupted again when after a chinking 35-metre run, Plath scored and the conversion was made (Main photo – captured by Jorja Brinums/QRL).
The Seagulls ran out 26-8 winners.
Coach Adam Brideson was happy the boys started to gel in the second half; happy with the win, he still conceded there is more improvement needed.
The Seagulls will face Townsville Blackhawks in Townsville in Round 3.