The BMD Wynnum Manly Seagulls travelled to Pizzey Park yesterday to take on the minor premiers in the Hostplus Cup match of the round.
A win for the Seagulls would see them confirm their place in the Top 8, and play finals footy next week. A Burleigh win would push the Seagulls out of the 8.
The two teams came onto the field early to mark QRL’s Turn To Me Round, in which the focus was general wellbeing, and encouraged viewers to turn to a mate to speak about any trouble they may be experiencing.
The players donned blue socks and stood arm in arm before kickoff.
It was a fiery start to the game, with the intensity maintained through the first half, as both teams knew what was at stake.
Wynnum Manly were denied a couple of tries early on, and couldn’t capitalize on dominant field position early.
Burleigh opened the scoring in the 13th minute, only for Matt Lyons to counter in the 18th minute to push the Seagulls to a 6-4 lead.
Lyons added another 8 minutes later, from a Sam Scarlett kick to extend the Seagulls lead to 12-4.
Wynnum Manly were on top of the game, defending well and maintaining their aggression against the minor premiers.
The game completely changed in the 37th minute when Falakiko Manu was sent from the field for a questionable high tackle ruling.
The Bears scored off the ensuing set to bring the score to 12-8 at half time to the Seagulls.
The weight of possession and the extra number on the field made it easy for Burleigh to score multiple tries out wide in the second half.
Seagulls players TC Robati and Max Elliott were injured in the first and did not return in the second, leaving 2 players on the bench and 12 on the field.
Wynnum Manly fought hard in the second half with their season on the line, and Sam Scarlett was able to score a consolation try in the final minutes, with Seagulls-favourite Matiu Love-Henry converting from the sideline.
Burleigh ended up running away with the match 42-18, with the Seagulls left to wonder what could have been with a full strength side.
The Seagulls unfortunately miss the Top 8 in 2022 and will look to rebuild in the off season with new coach Matthew Head taking over from November 1.
In the earlier game, the McDonalds Seagulls Academy Colts had their own chance to seal the minor premiership.
Having won 13 games straight, the Gulls have enjoyed a neck-and-neck battle with the Townsville Blackhawks for first place.
With Townsville winning on Saturday and jumping into first, it was left the Seagulls to reply against the Bears on Sunday, knowing that a win would secure them the trophy with superior points difference.
The Bears gave the Seagulls Colts a great fight throughout the whole match, with the Gulls not their usual dominant selves.
A Blake Moore hattrick helped the Gulls to the lead and they managed to hang on for a 28-26 victory to bring the minor premiership trophy back to Wynnum for the second year in a row.
The Colts will now look ahead to next week where they travel to the CQ Capras despite finishing first on the ladder.