Makeshift prop gives Tweed lift
By ADAM WRATTEN
A DOMINANT performance from makeshift front-rower Tom Prichard ensured Tweed Heads scored their third consecutive Queensland Cup Rugby League win with a 34-22 victory over Toowoomba at the weekend.
Prichard scored one try and threw the final pass for another as part of a commanding display that helped the Seagulls climb to sixth on the premiership ladder.
His contribution was made all the more impressive because Prichard, who has not played regularly in the front row since 2000 when he was with Brisbane club Wests, was still feeling the after effects of recent dental surgery.
"We were just happy to get the win," Prichard said.
"We didn't feel that we played as well as we have in recent games but it was important to get the two points."
Prichard, who was forced to lead the way up front after prop Eddie Harrison was forced from the field mid-way through the first half with concussion, said he was enjoying the challenge of the front row after making his name as a hard-running backrower.
"It's not that much difference," he said. "It's just a bit more full on and you're always in the action."
Coach Steve Murphy, who was without the services of skipper Andrew Maroney for the game, was happy with the way his side lifted in defence in the second half.
"After half-time (where Tweed was leading 18-16), the game was tight and it really was battle on. We tightened up a lot in defence and the players did well. It's a good result after a three-hour bus journey."
Toowoomba, missing the service of several regulars who were on National Rugby League duties with the Brisbane Broncos, started the match strongly with a try in the opening minutes.
But the Seagulls hit back straight away with winger Nat Barnes plucking a Brad Davis bomb out of the air to score.
The two sides continued to trade tries for most of the match and it was only late tries to Barnes and backrower Jeff Moate in the final 10 minutes that sealed the result.
The win extends the Seagulls undefeated record against the Clydesdales since entering the Cup in 2003.
Tweed face Norths, who has a 40-16 win against Ipswich on the weekend, at Bishop Park next weekend.
TWEED HEADS 34 (Tries, N Barnes 2, J Hampson, T Prichard, J Moate, B Davis; Goals B Davis 5) d TOOWOOMBA 22 (Tries, M Ryan 2, G Eastwood, A Barba; Goals, N Parfitt 3).