Tweed tumbles in grand final
THE Tweed Heads Seagulls would have traded all the records and the accolades of their historic season for the one thing that really mattered - the Intrust Super Cup Rugby League premiership.
But on a sunny afternoon yesterday at Suncorp Stadium, Wynnum Manly toughed out a 16-10 victory that devastated the players in butcher's stripes.
It was a disappointing day for the club which also took a 26-22 extra-time loss to Norths earlier in the day in the FOGS colts grade.
"It is so shattering, I am lost for words. It was such a great season and it finishes like that," said an emotional Tweed Heads skipper Brad Davis after the match.
Coach Ben Anderson was equally devastated but still described 2011 as one of the best years of his life.
"It is a bad end to what has been a pretty great year, and it hurts.
"We have had a good year and to look back on what we have achieved, with all the highs and the lows, we are in a low right now," Anderson said.
"It is a fantastic group, they're good mates playing for each other, and there is no ego in the group.
"They just turn up and get it done.
"I love the blokes and l love the Tweed."
Injuries to Rod Griffin and Tim Maccan in the first half, and Ryan Simpkins in the second, proved costly as, despite having plenty of possession, the Tweed couldn't crack the Wynnum line to overtake a slender 12-10 lead gained eight minutes into the second half.
Maccan was able to continue but the hip injury left him below 100%.
"We just ran out of legs a bit and that try before halftime really hurt us," Anderson said.
"They came out strong and we lost Roddy Griffin and Ryan Simpkins, and Timmy Maccan was playing on one leg and we just couldn't mount that comeback."
Tweed came desperately close on a number of occasions, with the video referee forced to take multiple looks at a potential try when the ball was stripped from Matt Hundy's grasp.
But a Wynnum player grounded the ball a fraction of a second before winger Tom Merritt got his hand to it.
After holding out a surging Tweed, Wynnum went on the attack. They were given a penalty and Shea Moylan couldn't be stopped out wide for the final points of the game.
"Both teams were pretty fatigued at the back end there and we probably didn't get enough points while we had the momentum on our side," Davis said.
"And then there were a couple of close calls and that is all it takes to swing a game around."
Davis was in the thick of it early as Tweed started confidently and got out to a 10-0 lead after about 20 minutes.
The first try came through hooker Tim Maccan in just the fourth minute when he darted out of dummy half from two metres then bounced off four defenders to score in the corner.
Davis set up the next try when he made a clean break from 45m out and found Cody Nelson in support to score under the posts.
Wynnum were desperate though, and right on halftime, Duncan Hall Medallist Jake Granville picked up a Matt Seamark grubber to score under the posts and Seamark converted to make it 10-6.
Wynnum scored again about eight minutes into the second stanza through Seamark, who converted his own try.
From there Tweed were playing catch up but couldn't cross the line.
Davis was especially feeling for the players who wouldn't be back next year, like Simpkins and Josh Starling.
"Big thanks to all the boys who probably won't be there next year.
"It is such a tight club.
"We have just got to go forward from here."
Anderson said Tweed would be back next year keen for another shot.
"It is devastating but we have got to keep our heads high and walk on, then come back next year," he said.
"We don't forget times like this, we will be back bigger and better."
Wynnum Manly Seagulls 16 (Jake Granville, Shea Moylan, Matt Seamark tries; Matt Seamark 2 goals) def Tweed Heads Seagulls 10 (Cody Nelson, Tim Maccan tries; Brad Davis goal) at Suncorp Stadium.