Seagulls down Jets in finals thriller
Northern Pride are the first team to advance to the Intrust Super Cup Grand Final after edging Easts Tigers 8-7 in a tense Major Semi-Final at Barlow Park in Cairns.
Trailing the Tigers 7-6 at break, a 60th-minute penalty goal to Melbourne Storm-bound five-eighth Shaun Nona ensured the minor premiers a place in the September 28 decider at Suncorp Stadium.
Wynnum Manly's gripping 34-22 win over Ipswich on Sunday saw the Seagulls extend their season for at least one more week, setting up a third meeting with Easts in four weeks in this week's Preliminary Final.
In an enthralling Minor Semi-Final on Sunday afternoon at Kougari Oval in Wynnum, it was the Jets who began the strongest with three first-half tries including a 38th-minute effort by Ipswich halfback Dan Phillips who set up Marmin Barba in the corner for a 16-8 half-time lead.
Buoyed by the parochial 'Chook Pen', a desperate Seagulls defence kept the Jets from firing another shot past their line by absorbing some sustained pressure early in the second half.
Wynnum's patience without the ball eventually paid off when they found themselves attacking the Wondall Road end of Kougari Oval in the 55th minute.
With the Jets also scrambling well in defence, Seagulls halfback Matt Seamark directed a cross-field kick in the direction of Mitchell Buckett with the rangy centre plucking the Steeden from the air to narrow the score to 16-12.
The Jets extended their slender lead six minutes later with a long range try to Matt Purcell that provided brief respite for the visitors who led 22-12 after Marmin Barba's conversion.
Less than four minutes later Buckett crossed for his second try in an carbon copy of his first four-pointer courtesy of the boot of Seamark, who missed another conversion to leave the score at 22-16.
Buckett then muscled his way over the line for his hat-trick in the 71st minute, locking the score up at 22-all after Seamark rediscovered his goal-kicking radar.
Now on the front foot, the Seagulls turned the match on its head when Matt Grieve inflicted a one-on-one steal 40 metres out from the line, with Seamark deciding to set up for a field goal with five minutes left on the clock.
Instead of snapping the one-pointer though, Seamark stepped off his right foot and spun the ball out to the left finding his skipper Tim Natusch who the delivered a looping cut-out pass to Buckett who set up winger Benaiah Bowie in the corner.
Seamark's conversion handed Wynnum a 28-22 lead with four minutes remaining to keep the Jets grounded.
Wynnum Manly put the icing on the cake after the full-time siren with another try to Bowie in the corner.
In his final home game for the Seagulls before heading to the Cowboys next season, hooker Jake Granville landed the conversion from the sideline to take the final score to 34-22.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 34 (Mitchell Buckett 3, Peter Gubb 2, Benaiah Bowie 2 tries; Matt Seamark 2, Jake Granville goals) def. IPSWICH JETS 22 (Marmin Barba, Nemani Valekapa, Carlin Anderson, Matt Parcell tries; Marmin Barba 2, Wes Conlon goals) at BMD Kougari Oval. Half-time: Ipswich Jets 16-8. XXXX Man of the Match: Tim Natusch (Wynnum Manly).
For a full match report of the Pride-Tigers Major Semi-Final click here.