Slick Gulls down Bears
By Kevin Braysher
THE Wynnum Manly Seagulls retained the Adam Watene Memorial Trophy with a 46-24 win over the Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park yesterday.
Watene was a beloved former player for both Wynnum (22 games) and Burleigh (83 games) who passed away suddenly in 2008 at the age of 31.
It was a weekend of trophies for the Seagulls who also wrapped up the Club Championship with the win.
“Those trophies along the way are always pleasing to get. It’s a good cause between the two clubs that Adam played for, so it’s good to get it,” Seagulls coach Jon Buchanan said.
“I thought what we did with the footy was really good. Any time you can put 46 points on an opposition then you’re obviously doing something well with the footy.
“We completed our sets really well and kept in the grind and especially in that first half I thought we were really good. We just need to do that for 80 minutes.”
The Seagulls raced to a 40-4 lead in the first 60 minutes of the game to setup the win.
Lock Mitchell Frei grabbed a rare hat-trick of tries while Matthew Grieve and Greg Eden both crossed for impressive doubles.
Patrick Templeton rounded out the try-scorers list while Matt Seamark slotted seven conversions. It was a milestone day for Seamark who went past 500 career goals at Intrust Super Cup level.
Wynnum dominated for 60 minutes, but Burleigh found some running in the final quarter and crossed for four late tries.
Buchanan said his men need to find a consistent 80-minute performance heading into the semi-finals.
“I thought we were pretty good there for probably the first 60 minutes, but there was a period there for that last 15-20 minutes where they were rolling through us which is really disappointing, but we’ve got time to fix that and we need to fix it,” he said.
“We just need to play for 80 minutes. We’ve been really good at times this year, but I’m still not sure whether we’ve put an 80 minute effort together. So that will be the key over the next month.”
For Burleigh, it was a slow start that cost them any chance on the day, but there were some bright spots.
It was a chance for another Bears junior to make his Intrust Super Cup debut. Tyler Sparks has been at the Bears since he was seven years old and came off the bench to make his debut in the top grade.
Also, hooker Nafe Seluini, who has been missing since Burleigh’s Round 5 win over Redcliffe, made his long-awaited return via the bench and had a big impact.
He and Christian Hazard, who has also missed the majority of the year through injury, struck up a dangerous combination that produced four tries in the second half.
“We haven’t had Nafe since Round 5. Round 5 to Round 22 is a long time to be without one of your real strike weapons and today he showed us as soon as he gets out there that he gives us some real spark,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“You just realise how much we’ve missed a good player and if we had him all year you don’t know what the situation could be, but we are where we are now.”
Lenihan said it was defensive effort that cost the Bears and that will be the focus of their final games in 2015.
“We just gave ourselves too much of a mountain to climb at the start of the game. We lost it in the first half,” he said.
“They had too much possession and we couldn’t control any of their momentum. That got them out to a big head start and we were always behind the eight-ball because of that.
“It’s our defensive effort that we’ve got to keep looking to maintain and that’s more of a choice than a skill. It’s an effort area and at the moment we’ve got people who can’t find that effort area for us.
“It’s about personal pride at the end of the day and making sure people are accountable for where they are not just for this year, but also going in to next year and making sure people want to be at the club here because we’ll have people here that want to do the little things, not so much the flashy things.”
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 46 (Mitchell Frei 3, Matthew Grieve 2, Greg Eden 2, Patrick Templeton tries; Mathew Seamark 7 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 24 (Dimitri Pelo 2, Jamie Dowling, Christian Hazard, Tyron Haynes tries; Kevin Gordon 2 goals) at Pizzey Park.
Burleigh Bears: 1. Talor Walters 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Dimitri Pelo 6. Christian Hazard 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Nathaniel Peteru 9. Chad Redman 10. Tyler Sparkes 11. Tyron Haynes 12. Ayden Lee 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Nafe Seluini 15. Louie Fanene 16. Mitch Sharp 17. Josh Ailaomai
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Patrick Templeman 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Greg Eden 6. Matt Smith 7. Mathew Seamark 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Tim Natusch (c) 11. David Stagg 12. Jon Grieve 13. Mitchell Frei 14. John Te Reo 15. Brendon Gibb 16. Aaron Rockley 17. Tanu Wulf