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Wynnum strikes late to deny Tweed

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WYNNUM Manly’s new signings have made an immediate impact for the Seagulls, who yesterday downed Tweed Heads in an opening round Intrust Super Cup thriller at BMD Kougari Oval.

Young forward Mitchell Frei and five-eighth Ben Cronin were among the stars for a new-look Wynnum Manly team, which came from behind in the dying minutes to snatch a 32-28 victory.

A gallant Tweed outfit held a 28-26 advantage in the closing minutes, but they ran out of legs with Tom Merritt in the sin-bin for a professional foul.

Wynnum Manly built pressure and finally cracked the tiring Tweed line with a match-winning try courtesy of a stepping run from young halfback Kurt French.

It was a shattering finish for the Tweed Seagulls, who did well to work their way back into the contest after conceding the opening 10 points early in the match.

Wynnum Jon Buchanan was relieved to get away with a first up win.

“It wasn’t pretty, but obviously our first 20 minutes was very good,” Buchanan said.

“That’s one of the challenges for us, we need to be a lot better for longer periods of time. We probably gave Tweed a bit of a sniff.

“They’re a good side and they’ve got some good little men with speed around the ruck.”

Buchanan was pleased with the way his team responded after the Tweed hit the front in the second half.

“We showed some good composure in that last 10 minutes,” Buchanan said.

While Frei and Cronin had plenty of nice touches for Wynnum, the effort from the more experienced hand of back-rower Tanu Wulf didn’t go unnoticed.

Wulf was voted players’ player after getting through a mountain of work in the middle.

Wynnum Manly will play the Easts Tigers in next Sunday’s Channel 9 match, while Tweed will travel to Ipswich to play the Jets.

WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 32 (Daniel Ogden, Jason Moon, Mitchell Buckett, Kurt French, Ben Shea, Mitchell Frei tries; Kurt French 4 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 28 (Tom Merritt, Matt Parata, Damian Sironen, Cory Blair, Jamal Fogarty tries; Blake Anderson 4 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.