Round 1 – 15/03/08

Ipswich 34 defeated Wynnum Manly 18 (Briggs Road)

Chris Birch escapes the clutches of this Ipswich defender

The Titans boys arrived in numbers but it was a couple of Ipswich mainstays – local product Todd Riggs and experienced centre Jason Bulgarelli – who piloted the Jets to a dramatic opening round win over Wynnum Manly.

Ipswich’s controversial 34-24 win over a 12-man Seagulls outfit provided the perfect “house warming” present for coach Kevin Walters. Seagulls coach Shane McNally was furious with the decision, which left the Seagulls a man down in the second half. McNally, whose side led 12-10 at half-time, firmly believed the Seagulls would have won the opening round clash had they not lost Brideson.

Five-eighth Dallas McIlwain made an immediate impact for the Seagulls. He created two tries for the Seagulls with superb off-loads in traffic. Luke Dalziel Don completed a hat-trick of tries for the Seagulls after combining beautifully with McIlwain midway through the second half. Despite playing a man down, the visitors were able to draw within four points of the Jets with seven minutes remaining. But a late try from powerhouse utility Chris Afamasaga sealed a 10-point win for the home team.

The match was the Jets first at the refurbished Briggs Road Complex, and a good crowd was on hand to watch the Jets run in seven tries on a warm Saturday afternoon. Bulgarelli, who has already told teammates he’ll retire at the end of the season, bagged two tries. The first came after Matt Cross scooped up a short kick from Riggs and flicked the ball back on the inside to the unmarked 31-year-old centre. But it was his second try which was perhaps the most important play of the match.

A spirited Seagulls outfit had just leveled the score at 18-all in the second half when Bulgarelli accepted a sweetly timed pass from Riggs and strolled over under the posts.

“We’ve been doing a little bit at training,” Bulgarelli said of his partnership with Riggs. “But the forwards have been doing the job for us. We’ve just got to hold on to the ball – that’s all it comes down to.” 

Bulgarelli’s centre partner – Titans contracted-player Gavin Cooper – also grabbed two tries for Ipswich. Cooper was at the centre of the incident which led to the dismissal of Wynnum Manly lock Adam Brideson. After Cooper had pounced on a grubber kick to score a try that leveled the score at 10-all shortly before half-time, Brideson was given his marching orders for allegedly striking Cooper with his boot. McNally said Cooper was not injured and the best option would have been to place the player on report. 

The Seagulls also had to contend with the loss of winger Tom Hewitt (hamstring) and skipper Darren Bain (head knock).

“We worked hard for each other … I can’t fault any of the boys,” McNally said. “They were great under the circumstances.”

Scorers: Ipswich 34 (Gavin Cooper 2, Jason Bulgarelli 2, Smith Samau, Donald Malone, Chris Afamasaga tries, Don Malone 3 goals) defeated Wynnum Manly 24 (L.Dalziel Don 3, C.McQueen tries, D.Lambert 4 goals)


Round 2 – 22/03/08

Wynnum Manly 18 defeated Mackay 10 (BMD Kougari Oval)

David Seage scored a superb individual try and was one of Wynnum’s best

The Mackay Cutters have shown they could be a force in this year’s competition, putting up a valiant fight against powerhouse Wynnum Manly before eventually going down 18-10 at BMD Kougari Oval.

The match was marred by errors and penalties, with both teams ensuring attack will be the main focus at training this week.

Twenty five minutes had passed in the game before the first try was scored by Wynnum’s replacement forward Cameron Joyce, the 15000th in Queensland Cup history.  

Five minutes later, former Newcastle Knight David Seage swooped on his own grubber kick to score a try Allan Langer would have been proud of.  

At this point many thought the game would blow out.  But Mackay showed remarkable improvement from the first round where they leaked 44 points against the Northern Pride.

The game changed dramatically on the stroke of half-time when a break and magic pass from North Queensland Cowboys recruit Anthony Watts resulted in a Daniel Abraham try.  Wynnum Manly led 12-6 at half-time but the sloppy handling continued in the second half. It took a piece of individual brilliance from Cutters livewire Aaron Barba to bring the game back to life. Barba displayed amazing speed and determination to reach out and score from a short grubber kick behind the Wynnum line.  Mackay didn’t worry the scoreboard attendant again, but continued to mix the good with the bad by defending stoutly, giving away penalties and dropping the ball after promising raids.

Wynnum were poor at times in the second half, but the Bayside club always looked like winning with so many experienced players. And with 25 minutes remaining, one such player, Canterbury recruit Dallas McIlwain, broke the line and stepped two to score underneath the posts. McIlwain and tireless captain Darren Bain were the best for the Seagulls.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 18 (David Seage, Dallas McIlwain, Cameron Joyce tries, Denny Lambert 3 goals) defeated Mackay 10 (Aarob Barba, Daniel Abraham tries, Abraham goal)


Round 3 – 30/03/08

Wynnum Manly 26 drew with Redcliffe 26 (Dolphin Oval)

Danny Lambert got the Seagulls out of jail against Redcliffe with a last minute try

A stunning Denny Lambert try inside the final 10 seconds has allowed plucky Wynnum Manly to snatch a 26-all draw with Redcliffe in a dramatic Herald Cup encounter at Dolphin Oval.

In a thrilling conclusion to the third round of the Wizard Cup, the Seagulls silenced a bumper Redcliffe crowd and dampened the celebrations of 200-game Redcliffe stalwart Mick Roberts when Lambert sliced through to score near the posts.

The Wynnum Manly halfback then ignored the jeers of the pro-Redcliffe crowd to slot the conversion and a share of the competition points.

Redcliffe appeared to have the win safely locked away when flying winger Liam Georgetown caught Wynnum’s back three napping to dive over in the corner. Georgetown swooped on a well-placed Shane Perry kick to the corner and somehow managed to ground the ball to snatch a truly remarkable try out of nothing. Georgetown then kicked the sideline conversion to put the Dolphins in front 26-20. Furious Wynnum Manly players claimed Georgetown had hit the corner post before grounding the ball. But referee Justin Eastwood was happy to back his touch judge, who was in a sound position to make the split-second call.

The Seagulls, who led 20-6 at half-time, could have been forgiven for putting up the white flag at that stage. But with clock counting down, the Seagulls put together a neat movement to create the try-scoring chance for Lambert. Both sides wouldn’t be happy with the drawn result, as the match was there for the taking at numerous times. The visiting Seagulls did it comfortably in the first half, racing to a 14-point lead at the break courtesy of tries from Cameron Joyce, Steve Irwin and Kurtis Curry. Lambert was also on target with the boot, landing two conversions and two penalties to give the Seagulls breathing space.

However, the Dolphins came out breathing fire, their hard-running forwards paving the way for a Chris Fox try in the opening set of six. Redcliffe had now narrowed the gap to 10 points but the Seagulls looked like blowing the match wide open when big forward Jason Williams popped a neat ball to a flying Chris McQueen. Veteran Redcliffe prop Troy Lindsay put in a desperate cover-defending tackle to chop McQueen down before the try-line. After snuffing out that raid, Lindsay soon found himself at the other end of the field where he gave the final pass for a brilliant try to Georgetown. Georgetown missed the relatively easy conversion but the Dolphins were now within striking distance (20-14 to Wynnum).

Lambert had a chance to put the Seagulls in front by eight when his side was awarded a penalty goal right in front of the posts with 12 minutes remaining. But Lambert’s relatively simple penalty attempt sailed wide. Redcliffe made no mistake at the other end, with Georgetown converting a tough attempt following Craig Frawley’s try. That try leveled the score at 20-all and set the scene for the thrilling finish. Redcliffe played the final 20 minutes without Palmer Wapau. The talented ball-playing forward limped off with a knee injury.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 26 (Cameron Joyce, Steve Irwin, Kurtis Curry, Denny Lambert tries, Lambert 5 goals) drew with Redcliffe 26 (Liam Georgetown 2, Palmer Wapau, Chris Fox, Craig Frawley tries, Georgetown 3 goals)


Round 4 – 06/04/08

Wynnum Manly 26 defeated Norths 14 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Luke Daziel Don produced a try scoring double

Wynnum Manly has moved into the top five for the first time this season with a gritty 26-14 victory over the Norths Devils at BMD Kougari Oval. Seagulls halfback Denny Lambert steered the home side around the park superbly in the slippery conditions.  Lambert scored a crucial try in the first half and landed three conversions to consign the Devils to their third loss from four starts. While Norths remain in the lower half of the table, the rejuvenated Seagulls leapt into outright fifth spot on the back of the 12-point win.

The Seagulls led today’s match 16-0 at half-time following tries from Steve Irwin, Luke Dalziel Don and Lambert. Irwin scored the opening try of the match when he jumped high into the air to take a pin-point accurate cross kick from Lambert in front of the rowdy “Chook Pen”. The diehard group of Wynnum supporters roared with great delight when Irwin slammed the ball down over the line.

However, the Wynnum crowd was kept quiet for a large proportion of the second half as the Devils fought their way back into the scrappy contest. Young centre Luke Samoa stamped his class midway through the second half with two quick tries. At 16-8, the Devils were well and truly in the match.

However, the young Mark Gee-coached side paid the price for making too many basic handling errors. The Devils knocked on twice from the kick off and on a further two occasions lost possession on the first tackle while deep inside Wynnum Manly territory. After a quiet first half, Devils five-eighth Joel Moon led the visiting team’s revival in the second 40 minutes. But that revival was put to rest when Irwin soared through the air to score from another high kick in the 67th minute. The spectacular try in the corner put the Seagulls in front 20-8.

Devils winger Rodney Davies showed blistering pace to score a 90m intercept try in the 77th minute.  The try, and quick conversion from Haisley Robson, reduced the deficit to 20-14 with the clock ticking. But the Devils’ hopes of racing in one last converted try to snatch a draw were dashed when they knocked on from the kick off for the second time in the match. Wynnum’s Dalziel Don crashed over to score in the next set of six to the put the icing on the victory.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 26 (Steve Irwin 2, Luke Dalziel Don 2, Denny Lambert tries, Lambert 3 goals) defeated Norths 14 (Luke Samoa 2, Rodney Davies tries, Haisley Robson goal)


Round 5 – 13/04/08

Burleigh 40 defeated Wynnum Manly 24 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Wynnum Manly halfback searching for an opening in the defence

A powerful display from Burleigh’s aggressive forwards lifted the Bears to a commanding 40-24 victory over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls at BMD Kougari Oval today.

The Bears brought an abrupt end to Wynnum Manly’s unbeaten record at home this year with a comfortable 16-point win.

“I think it’s the first time in six years Burleigh has won at Kougari,” Burleigh coach Jim Lenihan said tonight. “It’s definitely been quite a while so it’s good to get the monkey off our backs.”  Burleigh led 24-12 at half-time and Lenihan felt that margin could have been bigger.

“Wynnum scored in the first and last minute of the first half. Other than that I thought we had good control,” he said. “For the other 36 minutes of the first half we were OK but there were just a few little mental lapses where we let ourselves down.”

Lenihan was rapt with the whole-hearted performances from prop Wayne Phillis and classy No. 9 Scott Smith. The strong effort in the engine room paved the way for Burleigh flyers Trent Purdon, Nick Parfitt and Adam Fielder to each cross the try-line on two occasions. Fiedler has now scored seven tries from five games, while sharp-shooter Parfitt carried his season tally to 58 points. Although delighted to score 40 points, Lenihan was a touch disappointed to see the Bears concede 24. 

“We’re just trying to focus on improving our performance every week,” the former St George centre said. “I think in recent years we’ve put too much pressure on ourselves with big expectations.”

Burleigh (eight points) remains firmly entrenched in the top four courtesy of today’s win. Wynnum Manly slips out of the top five and now faces a tough ask to break back into the front-running pack after drawing Souths Logan in a difficult round six assignment at Davies Park next Sunday. With another two competition points safely in its keep, Burleigh is now ready to mix it with the high-flying Ipswich Jets in Saturday’s ABC TV match.

The Bears will wear pink jerseys to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

Scorers: Burleigh 40 (Nick Parfitt 2, Trent Purdon 2, Adam Fielder 2, Pele Peletelese tries, Nick Parfitt 7 goals) defeated Wynnum Manly 24 (Simon Phillips 2, Steve Irwin, Denny Lambert tries, Lambert 4 goals)


Round 6 – 21/04/08

Souths Logan 40 defeated Wynnum Manly 24 (Davies Park)

Cameron Joyce passing to a Wynnum support

Every good side has a player who steps up at crucial times.  For Souths Logan, that man is inspirational halfback Phil Dennis.  The nuggety playmaker produced the golden touch for the Magpies in their 40-24 Wizard Cup victory over Wynnum Manly at Davies Park today.

Dennis scored one of the Magpies’ five first-half tries to help the former cellar-dwellers to a 30-12 lead at the break. But it was his second try which held the most significance. Souths Logan was clinging to a 30-24 and the match was anyone’s. It was just a question of who wanted it most.

While the Magpies cemented their top three spot, the Seagulls again find themselves outside the top five and in desperate need of some consistency. The Seagulls had their chances in the second half but paid a hefty price for a number of costly handling mistakes when the game was delicately poised.

Second-rower Luke Dalziel Don was again a standout for the Seagulls, scoring a try in each half to take his season tally to seven. Redcliffe recruit Matt Seamark replaced Denny Lambert at halfback for the Seagulls. Seamark and young replacement hooker Jake Granville helped spark the second-half revival. The impressive Granville regularly caught a tiring Magpies line on the back foot in the second half until he was carried off with an ankle injury.

Dennis, a former Burdekin junior bulldozed his way through Wynnum’s line and planted the ball over the white chalk. The 73rd minute try and conversion made it 36-24 and the Magpies were well and truly on their way to their fourth victory of a promising campaign.

“I was lucky to get those two tries but it’s nice to get them,” a modest Dennis said.

Dennis capped off a fine game just minutes later when he popped a short ball back on the inside to the flying Quentin Laulu-Togagae, who charged over for his second. Although rapt with the win, Dennis was a little concerned with the Magpies’ lapse.

“We had a very good start but we fell away in the middle there,” he said. “It was a good thing we came back. Last week (against the Northern Pride) it just fell apart at the end and we couldn’t come back so it was good to get that one today. The boys who have come back from Canberra are adding to us but the boys who are staying here are doing the job. It’s a good start so hopefully it continues.”

Scorers: Souths Logan 40 (Quentin Laulu-Togagae 2, Phil Dennis 2, Brett Kelly, Marc Herbert, Brad Cross tries, Tim Cannard 3, Jake Bolt 2, Marc Herbert goals) defeated Wynnum Manly 24 (Luke Dalziel Don 2, Dallas McIlwain, Jason Moon tries, Matt Seamark 4 goals)


Round 7 – 27/04/08

Wynnum Manly 22 drew with Easts 22 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Trent Clark had a solid game for the Seagulls

Easts five-eighth Isaac Kaufmann summed up the general feeling around BMD Kougari Oval when he walked slowly from the field following the draw with Wynnum Manly.

“It’s disappointing,” Kaufmann said, reflecting on the 22-22 draw. “We really needed to win this game.

Wynnum Manly players, and their long suffering supporters who again packed into the famous Chook Pen, would no doubt have shared similar sentiments.

In fact, the vocal Wynnum Manly supporters were probably even more frustrated than a “disappointed” Kaufmann and his Easts teammates. After all, Wynnum Manly had led 16-0 in the first half following tries from Aoterangi Herangi, Matt Seamark and Luke Dalziel Don.

However, the Tigers clawed their back into the physical contest on the back of quick tries from Kaufmann and Liam Campbell. Wynnum Manly again grabbed the ascendancy on the stroke of half-time when big Fili Sofa charged over for a try underneath the goal posts. The converted try put the Seagulls in front 22-12 at the break. But the Seagulls were kept scoreless in a gripping second half. The Tigers, led superbly by powerhouse young prop Fred Tila and backrower Marcus Jensen, needed only 20 minutes to level the score. But neither side could break the deadlock in a tense final 20 minute period of the second half. Both sides came within inches of scoring in the final 10 minutes.

“It sort of felt like we were getting close, but not close enough,” Kaufmann said. “We were getting a foot away from the line but we just couldn’t get there.”

Like the Tigers, an exhausted Wynnum Manly outfit came agonisingly close to sealing a match-winner. Only some desperate last-ditch defence prevented nippy Seagulls halfback Matt Seamark from crossing near the posts in the final 10 minutes. Seamark was one of the Seagulls’ better performers but the most dangerous player on the park was the Tigers’ Fred Tila. The explosive young prop’s power and speed regularly troubled the home team.

“He’s only young so he’s getting better every week,” Kaufmann said of Tila. “He keeps following Charlie (Tonga), running off Charlie a bit.”

Easts managed to maintain their shaky grip on fifth place following today’s draw. But with Redcliffe hot on their heels, the Tigers can ill-afford to slip up against the Ipswich Jets at Langlands Park next Saturday.

“They’re the form team, so if we can’t rise for that we’re in trouble,” Kaufmann said.

Wynnum Manly sits one point behind the Tigers in seventh spot. The Seagulls have now recorded two draws in a mixed start to the season. However, Shane McNally’s charges remain just one win behind fourth-placed Burleigh and they could possibly jump two sides on the ladder with a victory over the Central Comets in Rockhampton on Saturday.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 22 (Matt Seamark, Luke Dalziel Don, Aorterangi Herangi, Fili Sofa tries, Matt Seamark 3 goals) drew with Easts 22 (Luke Wright, Liam Campbell, Isaac Kaufmann, Tom MacGougan tries, Dane Campbell 3 goals)


Round 8 – 04/05/08

Wynnum Manly 34 defeated Central Queensland 24 (Browne Park)

Steve Irwin scored a hat trick of tries

Talented centre Steve Irwin has responded to a few quiet words from coach Shane McNally, whose side is celebrating a much needed 34-24 victory against the Central Comets.

Irwin, who has been relatively quiet in recent weeks, exploded to life with a dazzling hat-trick in Wynnum Manly’s round eight victory at Rockhampton’s Browne Park.

McNally has not been overly happy with the big centre’s form in recent weeks and the pair addressed a few issues at training during the week. But McNally couldn’t fault Irwin’s performance on Saturday night. Irwin’s pace and strength netted him a hat-trick of tries, but his involvement didn’t end there. Irwin also had a hand in two other tries for the Seagulls, who had to withstand a determined fightback from the Comets. Wynnum Manly led 22-6 at half-time and extended that lead to 28-6 soon after the break.

But the Comets enjoyed a greater share of the ball in the second half and momentum started to swing their way. A stunning try from David Taylor put a further scare through the Seagulls.

“He scored one of the best tries I’ve seen,” McNally said. “He beat about 10 blokes and scored under the posts. It was lucky the fence was there otherwise I might have had to tackle him.”

Wynnum Manly steadied in the final minutes and closed out the game with a late try. In-form backrower Luke Dalziel Don was again impressive for the Seagulls. The rangy forward took his season tally to 10 tries with a double against the Comets. Big prop Jason Williams and crafty halfback Matt Seamark were also major contributors in the victory. Seamark kicked five of the six conversion attempts but it was his general play which had the biggest bearing on the contest.

Wynnum Manly is now headed for a titanic showdown against the rejuvenated Tweed Heads. Tweed kick started its season with a big win over the previously undefeated Northern Pride. Wynnum Manly is some chance of having winger Tom Hewitt back in the side. Hewitt has not played since tearing his hamstring in round one. 

However, the return of backrower Chris Muckert could yet be a number of weeks away. Muckert was on track to play against the Tigers the previous week until his knee problem flared again on the training paddock.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 34 (Steve Irwin 3, Luke Dalziel Don 2, Wade Bachmann tries, Matt Seamark 5 goals) defeated Central Queensland 24 (Karl Johnson, Nat Bowman, Luke Fatnowna, David Taylor, Jimmy Radloff 4 goals)


Round 9 – 12/05/08

Tweed Heads 64 defeated Wynnum Manly 14 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Second rower Chris Muckert watches carefully in defence

The “Battle of the Seagulls” has turned into a one sided affair, with Tweed Heads sending Wynnum Manly’s feathers flying on their way to a 64-14 victory at BMD Kougari Oval. In a stunning second half surge, Tweed Heads revived memories of their 2007 premiership form to blitz the Bayside boys.

Tweed scored a staggering 48 points in the final 40 minutes, leaving Wynnum Manly supporters in a state of shock after a competitive first-half which saw the Tweed narrowly in front 16-8.

“We made good use of possession. We reaped the benefits of a lot of good work done in the first half,” said Tweed coach Michael Woods, whose team has now recorded back-to-back wins following six straight losses.

The try-scoring sheet made for pleasant reading for Tweed fans. Matthew Cross, Dennis Gordon and Matt King scored doubles, while Shannon Walker, James Wood, Shane Joyce, Ryan Milligan and Roy Friend also tormented a dismal Wynnum Manly side. Brad Davis rubbed further salt into Wynnum Manly’s wounds by booting 10 of the 11 conversion attempts.

But the name on the scorer’s list that had everyone talking was that of Shannon Walker. Walker, the star of the 2007 Wizard Cup, played his first match for the Seagulls this year because the Gold Coast Titans had the bye in the Under 20s competition.

“Shannon took a little while to find his feet but the big thing was Shannon had a fair bit of work to do under the high ball and he was consistently strong under the high ball,” Woods said. 

Wynnum Manly was forced to make a major reshuffle after losing David Seage to injury early in the second half. But even the presence of the reliable Seage would have done little to stem Tweed’s relentless attack.

“You don’t have that scoreline without a lot of support play and a lot of hard work,” Woods said. “Our outside backs were very good today.”

Prop Michael Henderson was Tweed’s players’ player, while Milligan and Davis also polled well. Woods is now eager to see his side in action against the in-form Ipswich Jets.

“It will be (tough),” he said. “In saying that, that’s what you want at this stage of the year.”

He urged Seagulls fans to turn out in force at Cudgen’s Ned Byrne Oval on Sunday. “The quality of Queensland Cup has got to be respected,” Woods said. “Hopefully the people of the coast and the Northern Rivers come and watch Tweed and Ipswich.”

Scorers: Tweed Heads 64 (Matthew Cross 2, Dennis Gordon 2, Matt King 2, Shannon Walker, James Wood, Shane Joyce, Ryan Milligan, Roy Friend tries, Brad Davis 10 goals) defeated Wynnum Manly 14 (Wade Bachman, Jason Moon tries, Matt Seamark 3 goals)


Round 10 – 18/05/08 

Wynnum Manly 26 defeated Cairns 16 (Barlow Park)

Wynnum Manly captain Darren Bain takes on the Cairns defence

A week after receiving a 50 point hiding, the Wynnum Manly Seagulls have exploded to life by beating one of the Wizard Cup’s best teams on their own patch of dirt.

Wynnum Manly’s 26-16 victory over the Northern Pride in Cairns justified coach Shane McNally’s decision to make sweeping changes following the previous week’s battering at the hands of the Tweed. 

The Seagulls led the Pride 18-4 at half-time of Saturday’s clash and went on with the job in the second half.

“I think blokes like Chris Muckert and Ben Czislowski, they played with a lot enthusiasm and that’s what we were lacking a bit last week,” McNally said.

Muckert was playing his first fixture match for the Seagulls after a series of frustrating knee problems. The former Cowboys utility made a big impression upon his injection into the game off the bench. Czislowski’s comeback game from injury was also glittered with strong runs and big hits. McNally, whose team has the bye next weekend, described the Seagulls’ overall display as a “good solid performance”.

“We were good. Matty Seamark ran the game pretty well,” McNally said.

The Seagulls coach felt his side always had the game in control, despite the home side’s early strike in the second half.

“I just felt the way we were playing we weren’t in any danger,” McNally said. While the Pride has now lost its last two matches, McNally dismissed claims the Cairns based outfit had hit the wall.

“I thought they played very well,” he said. “We had to play some good footy to get through their line.” 

The only blemish on Wynnum Manly’s memorable trip to Cairns was an injury setback to prop Fili Sofa. The replacement forward suffered a suspected broken ankle in the first half and may require surgery.

“It’s unfortunate. He was just starting to play some good footy,” McNally said.

For the Seagulls, classy back-rower Luke Dalziel Don continued his purple patch of form. Dalziel Don, one of the front-runners for a spot in the City forward pack, scored one of the Seagulls’ four tries. 

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 26 (Jason Moon, Dallas McIlwain, Luke Dalziel Don, Chris Muckert, Matt Seamark 5 goals) defeated Cairns 16 (Drew Campbell, Hezron Murgha, Stephen Sheppard tries, Chey Bird 2 goals).


Round 11 – BYE

Wynnum Manly bye


Round 12 – 09/06/08 

Ipswich 24 defeated Wynnum Manly 4 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Wynnum Manly centre Chris McQueen registered Wynnum’s only points

Ipswich hooker Michael Ryan says the injection of a host of new faces provided the spark for the Jets in Saturday’s 24-4 victory over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

Having lost back-to-back Wizard Cup matches, a severely understrength Ipswich team looked at long odds to snap the losing streak against the Seagulls at BMD Kougari Oval.

But the new-look Jets lifted a gear to cement their spot in the top three.

“It was good to just get a bit of enthusiasm back because that’s what we’ve been missing the last couple of weeks,” Ryan said. “Seven (players) out has basically done us some favours I reckon today. It gave us a mobile pack and allowed us to work the conditions better.”

Ryan was simply all class from dummy half. The former Bronco scored a late try under the sticks to put the icing on a wonderful outing.

“It’s good to get a bit of room in the middle there but the old legs will feel it tomorrow,” the father of two said.

Ryan’s only blemish came in the 63rd minute when he threw a wayward pass that was intercepted by the flying Chris McQueen.  “I hit him sweet, didn’t I?” Ryan quipped.

But Wynnum Manly never troubled the scoreboard attendant again in a frustrating afternoon for Seagulls fans. The Seagulls’ attack was strangled by a surging Jets defensive line which regularly pinned the home side down in their own half. To make matters worse for the Seagulls, star halfback Matt Seamark left the field midway through the first half with an ankle injury that could sideline him for some time. 

Along with Ryan, tireless prop Aaron Sweeney and first-game halfback Luke Gray were outstanding for the Jets. Gray and five-eighth Todd Riggs ran a good show for the Jets, who have an embarrassment of riches in the halves given Ian Lacey and Josh Lewis were unavailable with representative commitments. Riggs has played halfback, five-eighth, hooker and even wing for the Jets this season. But he is clearly of great value to Ipswich at five-eighth.

With the two points safely locked away, the Jets can now enjoy the bye – and the Ipswich Cup festivities – next weekend. But following the Ipswich Cup, the Jets will get back to business in their quest to win a maiden Queensland Cup title. Ryan said he was pleased to see the team’s tenacious defence return on Saturday.

“For some reason we’re back on the ball. We went off it there for a couple of weeks when we lost our way,” said Ryan, who praised fringe players Adam Boettcher, Dale Robertson, Luke Walker and Dan Fullarton for their admirable performances.

“We’re coming into the right end of the season now and we pride ourselves on defence and our attack will just come.”

Scorers: Ipswich 24 (Scott Ireland 2, Troy O Sullivan, Luke Walker, Michael Ryan tries, Scott Ireland, Gavin Cooper goals) defeated Wynnum Manly 4 (Chris McQueen try).


Round 13 – 16/06/08

Wynnum Manly 36 defeated Mackay 30 (Mackay Junior Fields)

Aoterangi Herangi scored a double for Wynnum

There must be something about the north that makes the Wynnum Manly Seagulls tick. Coach Shane McNally isn’t sure what it is, but he probably wouldn’t complain if the Seagulls ended up playing a semi-final in North Queensland.

The Seagulls became the first south-east based Wizard Cup team to complete the road trip trifecta on Saturday when they edged out the Mackay Cutters 36-30 in Mackay.

Their six-point win followed away wins over the Northern Pride (26-16 in Cairns) and Central Comets (34-24 in Rockhampton). Wynnum Manly’s stunning form in the north is in stark contrast to their poor form at home. The Seagulls have lost three out of their last four matches at Kougari Oval, a record that the Bayside club needs to set right if it is to seriously challenge for a semi-final berth. But for now the Seagulls are just happy to enjoy their latest success in the north.

Saturday’s round 13 victory over the Cutters gave the Seagulls a share of fifth spot. The Cutters led 8-0 early, but couldn’t sustain the pressure as the visiting Seagulls took an 18-14 lead into the half-time break. Wynnum extended the lead to 30-14 midway through the second half.

“It was reasonably comfortable. But they’re a fair side,” McNally said. “You only have to look at their last two games … the Pride only beat them by six and they drew with the Tweed.”

Queensland Residents back-rower Luke Dalziel Don was again outstanding for the Seagulls. The long-striding forward crossed for two tries to take his season tally to 13. Hooker Aoterangi Herangi also completed a double in the second half. But the Seagulls most destructive player was Bronco Greg Eastwood.

“Greg Eastwood was outstanding for us,” McNally said. “From the outset he was great. He really showed he’s an NRL player with the way he played.”

While the victory allowed the Seagulls to edge a little closer to September action, the Cutters’ prospects of playing finals footy hangs by a thread.  But the Queensland Cup newcomers can take heart from a competitive season. The Cutters have tested every side they have played this year, but the number of losses in the dreaded “L” column now appears insurmountable. The Cutters face another tough contest when they travel to Ipswich to play the Jets on Saturday.

Wynnum Manly is at home to the Redcliffe Dolphins in a round 14 clash that will decide the winner of the Herald Cup.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 36 (Luke Dalziel Don 2, Aoterangi Herangi 2, Adam Brideson, Chris Muckert tries, Chris Birch 6 goals) defeated Mackay 30 (Chris Giumelli, Sam Granville, Anthony Perkins, Keiron Lander, John Frith, George Gatis tries, Chris Giumelli 2, Todd Seymour goals)


Round 14 – 22/06/08

Wynnum Manly 44 defeated Redcliffe 18 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Wynnum centre Chris Currie makes a break

The roar from Wynnum Manly’s famous Chook Pen could be heard from several streets away as the Seagulls broke their Herald Cup drought in emphatic fashion at BMD Kougari Oval today.

Much to the delight of success starved Wynnum Manly fans, skipper Darren Bain lifted the Herald Cup to put an end to two decades of misery.

For the first time in 20 years, the prestigious trophy will now sit in the Wynnum Manly clubhouse after the explosive Seagulls broke the run of outs with a scintillating 44-18 victory over the Redcliffe Dolphins.

With emotional Wynnum Manly supporters in full voice, Bain lifted the Herald Cup high into the air at the post-match presentation.

Bain told Bay FM the Seagulls were primed for “something special” after a slick Friday night training session. The Seagulls faithful cheered every tackle and hit up as the home side completed a demolition job on the once mighty Dolphins.

“The Wynnum crowd in my opinion is the best in the competition,” Bain said. “When you get out there and hear them it lifts the boys.”

Wynnum Manly’s quest for a breakthrough Herald Cup victory over their bayside rivals got off to a superb start when tough halfback Chris Birch slipped through the Dolphins line to post an early try. Birch’s try was soon followed by a breathtaking four-pointer in the corner from Seagulls flyer Chris Currie. Currie sprinted untouched to the try-line after receiving a bullet-like pass from five-eighth Dallas McIlwain.

But Wynnum Manly’s 10-0 lead was cut back in the 20th minute when flying Redcliffe fullback Ryan Cullen pounced on a grubber kick to score under the posts. Redcliffe was seemingly back in business and on target to present legendary club figure Dick “Tosser” Turner with a fitting send off. But there was to be no fairytale win for the late Turner, whose beloved Redcliffe was simply outplayed by a more clinical and determined Seagulls outfit. The home side skipped away to a 20-6 lead at half-time after Currie crashed his way over the line just seconds out from the break. Currie’s try came after a brilliant intercept from Birch. Birch was in everything for the Seagulls. Along with scoring the opening try, he booted six goals and controlled play nicely with the ball in hand.
The talented 24-year-old is the third player coach Shane McNally has used at halfback this year. But on today’s performance, he might just hold the No. 7 jersey for the remainder of the season, which now promises so much for a Seagulls team which shares fourth spot with Burleigh.

Redcliffe has now slipped out of the Wizard Cup’s top five and its season isn’t getting any easier with a tough round 15 showdown against the in-form Ipswich Jets on the horizon. Redcliffe’s day was summed up by a horrible mistake midway through the second half. When young winger Tim Yee spilt the ball, the lacklustre Dolphins showed no urgency to clean up the mistake. Birch pounced on the left overs, sprinting 30 metres before off-loading to Jason Moon, who completed the movement.

The second half was just as frustrating for Redcliffe supporters, many of whom must have surely walked away bewildered by the Dolphins’ lack of defensive muscle in such an important game. A clean break from the impressive Shaun Daylight resulted in a try to Chris McQueen that put the result beyond doubt. Classy Seagulls back-rower Luke Dalziel Don continued his stunning form with two tries in the second half. Dalziel Don has now scored 15 tries this season. 

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 44 (Jason Moon 2, Chris Currie 2, Luke Dalziel Don 2, Chris McQueen, Chris Birch tries, Birch 6 goals) defeated Redcliffe 12 (Ryan Cullen 2, Palmer Wapau tries, Marty Turner 2, Liam Georgetown goals)


Round 15 – 29/06/08

Wynnum Manly 34 defeated Norths 6 (Bishop Park)

Injury concerns for Chris Birch

The Wynnum Manly Seagulls have extended their winning streak to three and stormed to outright fourth on the ladder, beating a lacklustre Norths outfit 34-6 at Bishop Park today.

In a season Wynnum Manly fans would best describe as inconsistent, it was the man they can always count on, Luke Dalziel Don, who again steered the side to victory.

The full time insurance broker scored his customary two tries to again tie with Burleigh’s Adam Fielder atop the meat pie charts on 17, the same number that John Tamanika and Rory Bromley were tied on at the end of the 2007 season. Wynnum Manly coach, Shane McNally, was wrapped by the raw boned back rower’s feats.

“Dalziel was again sensational. He has been great for us every game this year. He and Darren Bain were the best out there today,” McNally said.

While the Seagulls were dominant against a young Norths outfit, next week’s assignment will provide a greater assessment of whether the bayside boys are championship material. They will face Burleigh on the Gold Coast in what will be a must win match for the Bears if they are to stay in the hunt for a place in the top five.

“We have been playing a lot better the last six weeks. We’ve won our last three now and the team is playing as a team,” McNally said.

Wynnum has been in a scoring frenzy the last three weeks, notching up 118 points in their winning run at an average of nearly 40 points per game. However, the three teams to feel the wrath of Wynnum’s form spike are the Mackay Cutters, Redcliffe Dolphins and now Norths, none of whom sit in the top five. McNally said the Seagulls were not as dominant today as the scoreboard suggests.

“We were dominant in patches only. It is tough to come out here and play well but we did that so yeah I’m pleased with the performance,” McNally said.

Norths welcomed back experienced forward Willie Scanlon for the match and he added much needed grunt in the middle of the park. Norths have only won two games all season, but will hope to keep building the skills and confidence of their talented youngsters in hope of recruiting more experience to guide them next year. The Seagulls have injury concerns surrounding Chris Birch (ankle) and  Ben Czislowski (foot). Dalziel Don limped off with two minutes remaining in today’s match, but McNally rates him a certainty to play Burleigh next week.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 34 (Chris Currie 2, Luke Dalziel Don 2, Jason Poppi 2, Ryan Brown tries, Chris Birch 3 goals) defeated Norths 6 (Todd Parnell try, Jacob Fauid goal)


Round 16 – 06/07/08

Burleigh 32 defeated Wynnum Manly 12 (Pizzey Park)

Hooker Jake Granville was the best of a bad bunch for Wynnum

Wynnum Manly have let a perfect opportunity to consolidate a top 4 spot slip after a 32-12 loss to the Bears at Pizzey Park on Saturday. The Seagulls, who had won three in a row until they met the Bears, looked out of sync and devoid of attack for most of the game. They lost Dallas McIlwain, Ben Czislowski and Simon Phillips before kick off and despite toiling hard in wet conditions, rarely looked like breaking the Bears line.

Wynnum Manly’s try scoring freak, Luke Dalziel Don, produced an unusually poor performance, the result of being targeted by a swarming Burleigh defence. Dalziel Don tried hard as always, but came up with some uncharacteristic errors. His frustration met boiling point in the second half when he voiced his frustrations in the direction of referee Michael Wise.

Duminitive Burleigh hooker Scott Smith produced a master class performance at dummy half to help steer the Bears to an impressive win. Smith came to Burleigh this season after a stint with the North Queensland Young Guns, and against Wynnum he produced an effort that his famous name sake, Cameron Smith, would be envious of. That may sound like hyperbole, but looking at the statistics it is hard to remember a better dummy half performance this year. Smith scored one try, had four try assists (Burleigh scored five tries), kicked two 40/20s  and forced two line drop outs. Burleigh coach, Jimmy Lenihan, says Smith may be the competition’s best hooker.

“He is certainly in the top three (hookers in the competition), that’s for sure. He is NRL quality and I’m sure he will get to that level,” Lenihan said.

Lenihan said he was coaching his team to play a brand of footy that suits Smith, but Saturday’s match was the first time the plan has been followed properly.

“We are finally playing the game that suits him and how he works and if we continue to do that we will be hard to beat,” Lenihan said.

Lenihan also singled out prop Travis Simpson as the glue, or perhaps honey, that holds the Bears together.

“He is a player that gets no recognition but does the little things right. He takes that first hit up from a kick off and gets over the advantage line every time. He always starts our set off in the right fashion,” Lenihan said.

Scorers: Burleigh 32 (Trent Purdon, Adam Fielder, Brent McConnell, Martin Griese, Scott Smith, John Flint tries, Nick Parfitt 4 goals) defeated Wynnum Manly 12 (Shaun Daylight, Jason Moon tries, Chris Birch 2 goals)


Round 17 – 13/07/08

Wynnum Manly 34 defeated Souths Logan 20 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Matt Seamark trying to stop a Souths attacking raiding

Wynnum Manly produced a near flawless second half to down the Souths Logan Magpies 34-20 in a rugged affair at BMD Kougari Oval today. The Magpies appeared to be on target for a comfortable win and a share of the competition lead with the Northern Pride after racing to a 20-12 half-time lead. 

But the Magpies were thoroughly outplayed in the second half as the Seagulls piled on 22 unanswered points to blitz the visitors. The win came at just the right time for the fourth-placed Seagulls, who would have slipped to sixth with a loss.

After the full-time siren sounded, Wynnum Manly coach Shane McNally led his charges into the famous “Chook Pen” where they belted out the team song alongside the Seagulls’ boisterous army of supporters. While the Seagulls’ party was just beginning, the wounded Magpies trudged from the field. Many of the Souths Logan players will wake up sore and sorry tomorrow after taking a physical beating from the home side. The Seagulls tackled their hearts out in the second half.

The Magpies, who were down on troops after losing Josh White and Cy Lasscock to leg injuries in the first half, struggled to get out of their own end in the second half. Their day went from bad to worse when Tim Cannard was taken from the field with a head knock with four minutes remaining. Although the Magpies are in no danger of missing the finals, their minor premiership ambitions took a turn for the worse after today’s result. The Paul Bramley coached team will have to pick up the pieces before facing the Ipswich Jets at Brandon Park in next Saturday’s ABC TV match. Although the final scoreline reflected a forgettable outing, the Magpies did show plenty of enterprise in the first half. They scored three quick-fire tries shortly before half-time to take a seemingly comfortable 20-12 lead into the break. But the attacking spark which had netted first-half tries to Quentin Laulu Togagae, Ben Jones, Shane Templeman and Tom Learoyd Lahrs was no where to be seen in the second period.

Wynnum Manly set the wheels in motion when giant fullback Chris McQueen combined superbly with John Te Reo to barge over outwide. The fantastic conversion from Chris Birch reduced Souths Logan’s lead to a slender two points. In the 54th minute, Chris Birch busted straight through the line from a scrum win and sprinted 40m to score. Suddenly, the Seagulls were in front 24-20.

In a pleasing sign for coach McNally, the Seagulls never looked like relinquishing the lead as they added two more tries to complete a 14-point win. Back-rowers Darren Bain, Adam Brideson and Luke Dalziel Don were outstanding for the Seagulls. Brideson displayed all the skills of an athletic winger when he plucked a bomb from the fingertips of Laulu Togagae to score the Seagulls’ opening try in the 22nd minute. The spectacular touch down was soon followed by yet another Dalziel Don special. Dalziel Don won the race to a Matt Seamark chip kick and fended off several attempted tackles to plant the ball down for his 18th try of the season.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 34 (Chris Mc Queen, Jason Moon, Chris Birch, Luke Dalziel Don, Adam Brideson, Aoterangi Herangi tries, Chris Birch 5 goals) defeated Souths Logan 20 (Quentin Laulu Togagae, Matthew Templeman, Ben Jones, Tom Learoyd Lahrs tries, Marc Herbert 2 goals).


Round 18 – 20/07/08

Wynnum Manly 42 defeated Easts 20 (Langlands Park)

Wynnum prop Leon Panapa had a strong game racking up 122 metres for the match

A scintillating second-half burst from Wynnum Manly has propelled the Seagulls to a convincing 42-20 victory over the Easts Tigers at Langlands Park. The Seagulls took a slender 12-10 lead into half-time in front of a bumper crowd.

Easts coach Darren Smith had barely settled into his regular viewing position upon the resumption of play when the rot set in. Within the blink of an eye, the scoreboard went from12-10 to 36-10 in favour of a try-hungry Seagulls outfit which now has the inaugural Bartons Cup to display alongside the Herald Cup.

The visitors ran in four converted tries in a devastating 17 minute period against a shell shocked Easts team that probably had the better of the opening 40 minutes. Wynnum’s rampage began in the 45th minute when Chris McQueen flung the ball back on the inside to Chris Currie, who darted over to score. Chris Birch’s sideline conversion put the Gulls in front 18-10. More pain was to come for the Tigers in the 50th minute when courageous Seagulls fullback David Seage sliced through from a kick return. Seage used all his experience to find a flying Joel Moon in support. The long-striding centre ran away from the chasing pack to score an eye-catching try that broke the Tigers’ back. Already 14 points down, the Tigers needed to put in a big defensive set to get back into the contest.

But the Tigers refused to muscle up and veteran forward Adam Brideson made them pay when he barged over under the sticks. Just two minutes later, the Seagulls were in again courtesy of speedy winger Ryan Brown. The conversion put the Seagulls in front 36-10 and the red-faced Tigers were in very real danger of conceding a cricket score. But to their credit, Easts lifted in the final 15 minutes to post tries through Kev Stephensen and Liam Campbell. With their season on the line, Easts threw the ball around in a desperate attempt to reel in the massive deficit. But the clock was always going to beat them, and in the end a late mistake resulted in a runaway try to Wynnum’s Chris McQueen.

The victorious Wynnum Manly team was presented with the Bartons Cup immediately after the entertaining game. The Cup was on the line after the first match between the two fierce rivals finished in a 22-22 draw. While Easts are now no hope of qualifying for the finals, the Seagulls’ campaign has gathered enormous momentum. The Shane McNally-coached side sits in fourth position and with two more home matches and the bye up their sleeve, Seagulls supporters have every right to be excited about their title prospects.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 42 (Chris McQueen 2, Ryan Brown, Jason Moon, Chris Currie, Matt Seamark, Adam Brideson tries, Chris Birch 7 goals) defeated Easts 20 (Kev Stephensen 2, Liam Campbell, Wallace Solomona tries, Matt Lockyer 2 goals).


Round 19 – 27/07/08

Wynnum Manly 24 defeated Central Queensland 12 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Lock Adam Brideson put on an outstanding defensive display keeping Dave Taylor quiet throughout the match

Following a gritty 24-12 victory over the Central Comets, Wynnum Manly coach Shane McNally believes the Seagulls are just one victory away from securing a berth in the Wizard Cup finals. The Seagulls, parked in fourth spot on 24 points courtesy of Saturday’s victory on a boggy BMD Kougari Oval surface, have the guaranteed two points from the bye in the final round.

And if McNally’s belief that 28 points is enough to seal the deal, then the Seagulls would only have to win one of their remaining games against Tweed Heads (away) and Northern Pride (home). Needless to say, McNally would like to win both of them. But perhaps the match that the experienced mentor wants most is next Sunday’s clash against Tweed Heads at Cudgen. Tweed demolished Wynnum Manly 64-14 in round one in a result that rocked McNally’s men.

“They had a big Titans (NRL) influence that day and we were pretty poor that day,” McNally said. “But that’s a long time ago now and a lot of water has gone under the bridge. I’m pretty confident we’ll perform a lot better than we did that time.” 

Wynnum Manly could still be missing key back-rower Luke Dalziel Don for the clash with Tweed. Dalziel Don sat out Saturday’s match with a hamstring strain. Despite being down their most potent attacking player, the Seagulls had just a bit too much class for the Comets. Second-half tries from Chris Muckert and John Te Reo sealed the crucial win for the Seagulls, who kept a clean sheet in the final 40 minutes after the combatants emerged from the dressing rooms at 12-12. 

“We defended pretty well. We were able to keep the Comets in their own half for long periods,” McNally said. “But it was a pretty hard fought game. There wasn’t much in it.”  

Comets hooker PJ Marsh had some nice touches for the visiting side, while big Bronco David Taylor also put in a strong display.
McNally said his team did a “pretty good job” containing Taylor.

“We just got numbers in on him and made sure we wrapped him up,” he said.

Adam Brideson and Simon Phillips were often the players chopping down the rampaging Taylor. The tough Wynnum Manly forwards got through a mountain of work which allowed the likes of Matt Seamark and Chris McQueen to create opportunities outwide. While the Seagulls are flying high, the Comets’ brave bid for a spot in the finals now appears over. But the Comets could still have a bearing on the make up of the finals, with two of their remaining three matches against big guns Ipswich and Redcliffe. 

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 24 (Ryan Brown, Simon Phillips, Chris Muckert, John Te Reo tries, Chris Birch 4 goals) defeated Central Queensland 12 (Marc Fickling, Tyron Haynes tries, Nat Bowman 2 goals)


Round 20 – 03/08/08

Tweed Heads 46 defeated Wynnum Manly 22 (Nev Byrne Field)

Simon Phillips was the stand out player for the Wynnum Manly side

Wynnum Manly must be sick of the sight of Tweed Heads jerseys. For the second time this season, the Seagulls from Tweed Heads have thumped the Seagulls from Wynnum Manly. The Tweed dominated Wynnum Manly at Ned Byrne Field today on its way to a resounding 46-22 victory.

The loss means Wynnum Manly has been bundled out of the top five on for and against. Fifth spot is now occupied by the Burleigh Bears, who belted Norths 62-12 at Bishop Park today.

Tweed smashed the Kougari boys 64-14 in the first round. In an amazing statistic, Tweed has scored a staggering 110 points and conceded just 36 from their two clashes against Wynnum.

“We had a very specific game plan and we probably stuck with that,” Tweed coach Mick Woods said. Woods declined to reveal what the game plan entailed. Tweed had the upper hand throughout today’s match, scoring eight tries to four. Young Colts winger David Moore capped a fairytale debut with a late try. But it was two old hands – Brad Davis and Tim McCann – who steered the home team to a deserved victory. Davis didn’t let his axing from the Titans NRL side bother him, turning in a players’ player performance. Davis had a hand in several tries and booted seven goals in a first class display. McCann slotted into the unfamiliar lock forward position after Matt Pow tore a calf muscle in the warm up. McCann, normally a halfback, scored a try and was right in the thick of the action for 80 minutes.

“The boys are calling him Dallas Johnson,” Woods said.

All jokes aside, the Seagulls have shown tremendous resolve to finish the season with a flurry of victories after a nightmare start to their title defence.

“Everyone is demonstrating what sort of pride we’ve got in the club,” Woods said. “There is a fair bit of respectability in what we’ve done.”

Seventh-placed Tweed has now taken its tally to 19 points and would dearly love to claim another major scalp before Mad Monday kicks in. They get the chance to unsettle Ipswich’s title bid at the Briggs Road Complex next Saturday. But Woods isn’t talking up their chances.

“We’re keen to just keep enjoying our football,” he said.

Wynnum Manly will have to regroup quickly. A loss to Northern Pride at Kougari Oval next Sunday could see them bundled out of the finals, despite the guaranteed two points from the bye in the final round.

Scorers: Tweed Heads 46 (Luke Dumas, Dennis Gordon, James Wood, Ben Jeffery, Tim McCann, David Moore, Chris Enahoro, Billy Ngawini tries, Brad Davis 6 goals) defeated Wynnum Manly 22 (Ryan Brown, Chris Currie, Simon Phillips, Adam Brideson tries, Chris Birch 3 goals).


Round 21 – 10/08/08

Wynnum Manly 36 defeated Cairns 16 (BMD Kougari Oval)

Darren Bain was all class again for the Seagulls scoring a first half try

This time last week Shane McNally and his wounded charges were a despondent bunch. Fast forward a week and McNally and the boys are sporting smiles and a ticket to the Wizard Cup finals.

Wynnum Manly rebounded from last week’s shock loss to Tweed Heads with a strong 36-16 victory over the Northern Pride at Kougari Oval on Sunday.

The victory confirmed the Seagulls’ spot in the finals after Redcliffe’s loss to the Easts Tigers on Saturday.  Wynnum Manly would have needed other results to fall its way in next weekend’s final round had Redcliffe beaten the Tigers at Langlands Park. But as it stands now, Wynnum Manly is booked in for an elimination final against either Burleigh or Redcliffe in the first week of the finals.

“Easts have done the right thing by us … my old club,” McNally said as the Seagulls players celebrated in front of the boisterous Chook Pen. “I thank them for that. It was probably a surprise victory for Easts but they’re a good football team and I thought they could have the game plan that could worry Redcliffe. It’s falling in our favour. The time last week we were feeling sorry for ourselves. Today we’re a bit happier.”

The Seagulls again entered today’s clash without star back-rower Luke Dalziel Don (hamstring).

“We always thought he’d be touch and go for this week,” McNally revealed. “It just wasn’t worth risking it. We were hoping we’d get through today and now he can be there for the next one.” 

While it was back slaps and high fives all round in the Seagulls camp, the Pride players formed a tight huddle on the field after full-time. No doubt much of the talk would have centered on the need for a more committed performance in their final round clash with Ipswich. Souths Logan has now joined the Pride on 30 points and the Magpies have the upper hand in the race for second spot and a home final because of their superior for-and-against record. Aside from a strong 10 minute period in the second half which netted two tries, the Pride was behind the eight ball against the fired up Seagulls. The Seagulls led 16-6 at half-time following tries from Chris Currie, Darren Bain and Jason Moon. 

The home side drew first blood in the second half before the Pride hit back through Mark Cantoni and Josh Vaughan.  Wynnum Manly was clinging to a 22-16 lead at that stage. In the 56th minute, an all-in brawl erupted near the Pride line. Jamie Frizzo (Pride) and Chris Birch (Seagulls) were given 10 minutes to cool off. The vocal home crowd vented their frustration when the Pride was awarded the penalty. The confrontation seemed to spark the Seagulls into action. Wynnum completed a stunning win by scoring the final three tries of the match through Chris McQueen, Aoterangi Herangi and Simon Phillips.

Scorers: Wynnum Manly 36 (Jason Moon, Chris McQueen, Chris Currie, Simon Phillips, Adam Brideson, Darren Bain, Aoterangi Herangi tries, Chris Birch 3, Matt Seamark goals) defeated Cairns 16 (Jackson Nicolau, Josh Vaughan, Mark Cantoni tries, Chey Bird 2 goals).


Minor Semi-Final – 24/08/08

Redcliffe 50 defeated Wynnum Manly 16 (BMD Kougari Oval)

The sleeping giants of the Wizard Cup have well and truly awoken – and don’t rival clubs know it. The Redcliffe Dolphins – the most successful club in Queensland Cup history – produced a first class performance to bundle Wynnum Manly out of the finals with a 50-16 thrashing of the hapless Seagulls at BMD Kougari Oval.

Redcliffe called on all of its finals experience to dominate the Seagulls.

“At this time of the year we’ve got a lot of experience there and the boys know how to play finals footy,” Redcliffe halfback Shane Perry told the ABC. “The hardest part was getting there. Now we’ve just got to push onto next week.”

Perry was simply outstanding for the Dolphins, scoring two tries and orchestrating several others with his deft passing and kicking game. The Dolphins’ performance was easily their best of the season. After limping into the finals on the back of an average home-and-away season, even the most one-eyed of Redcliffe fans must have doubted the team’s ability to survive beyond week one of the finals. But the Dolphins did more than survive – they sent an ominous warning to the remaining four clubs in the premiership hunt. The Gary O’Brien coached team has now booked a sudden death showdown against the loser of the Souths Logan-Northern Pride clash. Another victory would put the Dolphins just 80 minutes away from a preliminary final berth. Perry said the Dolphins were highly motivated to finish the season with a bang. 

“With so many people leaving, like Troy (Lindsay), Grant Flugge and maybe Mick Roberts, it’s a special time for the club and we want to go as far as we can into the finals.”

Flugge, who will retire after the finals campaign, was in everything for the Dolphins in the opening exchanges. He set up Redcliffe’s opening try of the match in the 10th minute when he slipped a nice pass to the flying Liam Georgetown. Georgetown raced 60 metres to score a try which came just five minutes after Wynnum Manly winger Ryan Brown had given the Seagulls a 4-0 lead. Flugge then crashed through some feeble defence to score Redcliffe’s second try of the game. Georgetown followed the lead and crossed for his second in the 17th minute after the Seagulls failed to defuse a towering Perry kick. The ball cannoned into the posts and rebounded into the in-goal area where Georgetown won the mad scramble for the ball. Georgetown converted for an 18-4 lead.

Wynnum’s Darren Bain strolled through Redcliffe’s line to breathe life into the game in the 20th minute. But Redcliffe steadied with a Georgetown penalty goal extending the lead to 20-10. The Seagulls responded with a penalty goal of their own on the stroke of half-time after being awarded a dubious penalty.

Redcliffe took a 20-12 lead into half-time but the scoreboard attendant’s break was short lived as the Dolphins embarked on a scoring frenzy upon the resumption. Perry, Georgetown, Palmer Wapau and Ryan Cullen all crossed the white paint as the Dolphins charged to a commanding 44-12 lead. Wynnum’s John Te Reo saved some face for the Seagulls when he crossed outwide in the 71st minute.

However, the Dolphins inflicted more pain on the Seagulls when Perry regathered his own grubber kick to score the easiest of tries after a horror mistake at the back from the Seagulls.

Scorers: Redcliffe 50 (Liam Georgetown 3, Shane Perry 2, Ryan Cullen, Palmer Wapau, Grant Flugge tries, Liam Georgetown 9 goals) defeated Wynnum Manly 18 (Ryan Brown, Darren Bain, John Te Reo, Chris Birch 2 goals).


Match Reports Source: Robert Burgin (Rugby League Journalist)

Photo Source: Wynnum Manly Rugby League Football Club