By Melissa Tabet & Colleen Edwards,
Queensland Rugby League
Wynnum Manly Seagulls overcame a poor start to the match to earn a 22-14 win against Brisbane Tigers and in the process, keep their unbeaten start to the season alive in the Intrust Super Cup.
Played at Totally Workwear Stadium in Anzac Round, the Tigers roared early in front of their home fans, with Dean Ieremia – who recently claimed Hastings Deering player of the match honours with his hat-trick against Burleigh Bears – going over in the fourth minute to score the first of his two tries.
It only took him eight minutes to go over again, and when Dan Russell crossed in the 20th minute; Seagulls fans would have been wondering if their team had turned up focused to play.
The tide soon turned however with winger Ed Burns starting the comeback for his team with a 29th minute try, before Sebastian Winters-Chang got on the board in his Intrust Super Cup debut.
With conversions hard to come by, the Tigers took a 14-8 lead into the half-time break.
Unfortunately for home fans, the Tigers were held scoreless in the second half as the Seagulls clicked into gear, doing just enough to overcome their opposition with tries to powerful forward Luke Bateman and then crafty hooker Jayden Berrell, who has been in fine form in the competition, sealing the victory when he crossed in the 60th minute.
For Wynnum Manly coach Adam Brideson, the result came as a relief after a disappointing start to the match.
“It was obviously really pleasing in the back end; we didn’t start the game anywhere near the way we wanted to,” Brideson said.
“I thought the Tigers were really clean for the first 20-odd minutes. I was really pleased by the fact we could fight really hard and come away with a hard-fought win at the back-end of the game.”
The result means the Seagulls remain undefeated after five rounds, something the coach said was being achieved thanks to the standards of the players.
“There’s a really honest group here that work really nice and hard for each other, so if we miss our marks somewhere, they are really happy to check each other and make sure they are continuing to work nice and hard to try and get the best outcome every week,” Brideson said.
This weekend, all Intrust Super Cup teams will have the weekend off, with Brideson saying he would take the opportunity to freshen up the players.
“It will be good to get them away, we will train only a couple times this week and give them the weekend off and get away from footy and give them something else to think about,” Brideson said.
“Then, we will get back in to get stuck into the Capras after the bye.”
For the Tigers, it was a disappointing finish to the game after the side had been building winning momentum with two strong wins in a row.
The Seagulls play the Capras at Kougari Oval on May 8th during Round 6.