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QCup Rd 24: Seagulls keep three-peat dream alive

Travelling to Cairns to play the Northern Pride is a daunting challenge at the best of times.
QCup Rd 24: Seagulls keep three-peat dream alive

Travelling to Cairns to play the Northern Pride is a daunting challenge at the best of times.

It’s even more daunting when a finals berth is on the line and you simply can’t afford to lose.

But if there is one Intrust Super Cup team which knows how to handle those pressures, it’s the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

The two-time premiers responded with arguably their best performance of the season to beat the Pride 26-16 at Barlow Park last night.

The Seagulls are now assured of a spot in the top five, regardless of the results from today’s final two matches to close out the regular season.

If the Souths Logan Magpies upset Easts, the Seagulls will finish in third spot.

An Easts victory would see the Seagulls host next Sunday’s elimination final at BMD Kougari Oval (4 v 5).

But no matter how it pans out, Seagulls fans must be optimistic about their team’s chances of another successful finals campaign following last night’s stunning victory.

The Seagulls produced a clinical first half performance which saw classy hooker Jake Granville cross for a double.

Centre Jason Moon also scored from a nice set move and halfback Matt Seamark added three conversions and a penalty goal to push the lead out to 20-0.

Big winger Semi Tadulala crossed in the 38th minute for the understrength Pride team, which went into the match without key players Ty Williams and Sam Obst.

The Seagulls’ 20-4 half-time lead put them in firm control, but the game exploded to life when Ben Spina barged over to close the margin to 10 points in the 57th minute.

Wynnum Manly responded just five minutes later with a try to Tim Natusch from close range, effectively sealing the result.

The Pride rounded out the scoring with a consolation try to Blake Leary.

It was only the Pride’s fifth loss of the season, with the minor premiers now able to focus on their major semi-final clash against the winner of the 2 v 3 match in a fortnight.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls 26 (Jake Granville 2, Jason Moon, Tim Natusch tries; Matt Seamark 5 goals) def Northern Pride 16 (Semi Tadulala, Blake Leary, Ben Spina tries; Shaun Nona 2 goals) at Barlow Park.

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