Seagulls tune up for finals
By BOB ANTHONY
TWEED Heads Seagulls capped off their most successful Queensland Cup regular season yet with a convincing 26-16 win over Easts Tigers at the weekend.
Seagulls finished third on the competition ladder behind minor premiers North Queensland and Redcliffe, an effort that guarantees them a double chance in the finals series beginning Saturday.
Tweed will head into the finals full of confidence after clawing their way back from a 16-0 deficit to down the Tigers by five tries to three on Saturday.
Coach Troy McCarthy described his side's effort as "their best performance in a long time".
"In the opening 40 minutes everything went against us, penalties, lucky tries and no possession," McCarthy said.
"I just sent out a message to the players just to 'hang tough'."
"At half time, the message was just to hang onto the ball and play simple football."
Seagulls were forced to defend for extended periods with Easts looking to capitalise on a healthy possession count. At one stage the Tigers had notched up 5 sets of six while Tweed had just four uses of the ball.
But Seagulls remained defiant with "excitement machine" Shannon Walker (pictured above right) providing a brilliant example of his side's determination.
Tigers centre Wade Liddell looked certain to score after grabbing an intercept and sprinting into the clear only for the fleet-footed Walker to reel him in.
"At that stage we were down 16-6 and had they scored, and we went to the break 22-6, I don't think we would have been able to come back," McCarthy said.
"Shannon's effort certainly lifted the side and it showed in the second half."
Seagulls returned from the sheds with renewed intensity, assuming control as the Tigers outfit began to tire.
McCarthy said the players followed the plan to the letter and it was the home side, playing their last game at Langlands Park, started to tire in the second have, given Tweed more scoring opportunities.
Tries to second-rower Selasi Berdie, centre David Myles and Walker handed Seagulls the lead before a late try to centre James Wood sealed the win.
The result capped a successful day for the Tweed club which registered wins in FOGS Cup and Colts matches.
The result ensured Tweed Heads finished second in the club championship after earlier wins Fogs Cup and Colts matches. Seagulls ran out 22-18 winners in the FOGS Cup clash while the Colts won 30-8.
In other Queensland Cup matches, North Queensland wrapped up the minor premiership with a 14-12 win over second-placed Redcliffe, Wynnum Manly beat 24-12, Aspley Broncos edged out Central 32-28 and Ipswich secured fourth spot on the ladder with a 52-4 win over Souths Logan.
TWEED HEADS 26 (Daniel Evans, Selasi Berdie, David Myles, Shannon Walker, James Wood tries; Brad Davis (3) goals) EASTS TIGERS 16 (Tries J Tamanika, J Mackay, M Cantoni tries; Mt Lockyer (2) goals)