Tweed Seagulls come out on top in thrilling final

There was end-to-end action at BMD Kougari Oval as the Wynnum Manly Seagulls and Tweed Seagulls went head-to-head to see who be the state champions in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup.

In an an entertaining game with plenty of highlights, in the end it was Tweed Seagulls who claimed the Under 18 state title with their 28-24 win.

The Tweed Seagulls got the game off to a fast start with a try to Reece Walsh in the fourth minute. The try came off the back of some individual brilliance from centre Xavier Coates who broke away from within his own side of the field, running almost the length before passing back inside for his fullback.

They were in again only three minutes after when player of the match Ediq Ambrosyev dove over after he picked up the scraps off a Walsh high kick that proved too hard to handle for Wynnum.

However, Wynnum worked their way back into the game and in the later stages of the half, they had their reward when Zane Edmonds scored. It came from some good work for his backline, with Reece Hoffman – who proved a handful for the Tweed defence all afternoon – drawing in  defenders before passing to his outside.

Max Plath got their next try moments later with some quick work at the Tweed try line.

However, the half overall belonged to the southern Gulls when in the shadows of the break, some great play for the forwards, with a Juwain Compain dummy and offload to James Torrens leading to break away that was rewarded with a try to five-eighth Kade Hill.

After receiving a clever offload, Juwain Compain raced through middle of the field before passing to the quicker man to score and close out the half for an 18-8 lead.

In the second half, the home side came out firing with a renewed intensity in their defence. They were up in the face of the opposing Gulls and were quick off the mark.

Tweed then responded in kind with some big hits, and it was the black-and-white Gulls who scored first when Coates reached up higher than everybody else to bring down the ball and score.

But Wynnum Manly refused to go away, with firstly Hoffman and then Braden Whittaker scoring in quick succession to bring the growing green and red crowd to their feet.

The tension was palatable and the action was intense.

It seemed that a big run from forward Solomon Torrens had sealed the match for the Tweed when put his head down, tucked the ball under his arm and ran in to score in the 62nd minute.

Wynnum Manly however never gave up and we had a grand stand finish when Ethan Malt was over in the final minute of play.

The pressed again when they went flying down their right hand sideline in the final seconds of play, but desperate Tweed defence saw them push the threat out into touch before celebrating the win.

The Tweed Seagulls will have to refocus this week before they take on Illawarra in the National Under 18 final next Sunday at Dolphin Stadium.