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Seagulls fire up defensive efforts to ground Falcons

Tweed Seagulls registered their first win of the season in Round 2, beating the Sunshine Coast Falcons 28-6 at the Piggabeen Sports Complex.

A firm defence and dominant middle allowed Brent Woolf, Craig Garvey and Will Brimson to run riot as the Seagulls ran in five tries to one.

The home side wasted no time getting into their work with the ball as the spine linked up twice in the build-up to their opening try of the match in the fourth minute.

Paul Turner popped up on the right side to get Tweed up the field before Woolf, Lindon McGrady and Brimson followed up a quick play-the-ball with a long-side shift to the left.

Brimson took the line on himself and forced a good tackle out of Daniel Atkinson. Atkinson couldn’t replicate the effort two tackles later, though and Brimson’s quick sweep to the short side and some smooth hands to shovel the ball onto Scott Galeano opened the scoring.

Penalties dominated the game for both sides early, but the difference came in how they were defended. Where the Seagulls were able to keep their line intact after being pinged for repeated infringements and a dropout that failed to carry the required ten metres, the Falcons couldn’t do the same at the other end.

Like last week, JJ Collins featured heavily throughout the early stages. Another strong carry from the 26-year-old promoted a quick play-the-ball and Woolf took the cue to run the ball, beating the markers and a wide A defender to score under the posts untouched in the 10th minute.

Despite putting themselves under pressure through a handful of relieving penalties, the Seagulls extended their lead through Garvey. The Seagulls are blessed with two hookers that aren’t afraid to get out of dummy half when the opportunities arise. In this instance, Garvey used big Reuben Porter on his outside to drag the defence away before ducking in behind the ruck to score.

The Seagulls didn’t quite get through the first half unscathed. Penalties on their own line caught up with them leading to Lee Turner being marched to the sin-bin in the 37th minute. However, once again, the defence held firm through to a 16-0 halftime lead.

The Falcons started the second half intent on making their remaining time against 12 men count, running to kick the ball into touch following a penalty and desperately searching for points down the edges.

As in the first half, the Seagulls defence wouldn’t budge. Regular questions were asked of the right edge. McGrady appeared to be a target as the Falcons sent traffic his way, but the Seagulls captain handled everything thrown at him.

The Seagulls grew legs once they were back to 13 men. Offloads hadn’t been a large part of the attack before the 50th minute, but a more expansive style of play – with Woolf often the spark following an offload – soon translated into points as Brimson followed up on his own kick to push the lead out to 22-0.

Frustrations boiled over for the Falcons as a spray directed towards the referee resulted in a penalty for dissent. The Seagulls took the field position on offer and extended their lead to 28-0 through Joshua Patson. Held up over the line over a minute earlier, the Seagulls ran a similar play to isolate Patson onto the opposition halfback for the backrower to crash through and put the result beyond doubt.

A Falcons consolation try did little to dampen the feelings around a superb Seagulls defensive performance. The right edge forcing an error on the very last play of the game summed up their efforts in producing the 28-6 victory.

Key takeaways from Round 2

The Seagulls lost some of their advantage in the middle throughout the minutes JJ Collins sat on the bench last week, but that wasn't the case in this one. Lamar Manuel-Liolevave, in particular, provided real starch to the Seagulls middle on either side of halftime with his carries late in the count providing Lindon McGrady with the platform to kick from on the last.

Brent Woolf also benefited from Tweed’s dominance through the centre-third. He made the most of a Collins carry to score his 16th-minute try and looked likely throughout the game. Popping up at first-receiver and using tempoed runs across the field provided Will Brimson with room to move on the edges.

Brimson repeatedly bounced to the outside of his opposite and threw a peach to Scott Galeano to score the opener. With Brimson down the left edge and Paul Turner inserting himself into the right edge more often this week, the Seagulls have two ball-players that can threaten the line on both sides of the field.

Coach’s comments

Coach Ben Woolf mentioned a focus on ruck defence and controlling the speed of the ruck throughout the week and was pleased with how it played out on the day.

“Very happy with our defensive effort today. It was something we focused on in training,” Woolf said.

“Last week, we were giving them too much time around the ruck and we needed to tighten that up which I think we did.”

In contrast, the Seagulls charged the middle and controlled the ruck with the ball which allowed them to make the most of their speed out of dummy half.

“We wanted to control the ball and give our hookers Garvey and Brent (Woolf) the opportunity to attack off the back of the ruck.”

The pair combined for two tries, a try assist and played a leading role in Tweed’s attack inside the opposition 20-metre line.

Next weekend, the Seagulls will host Norths Devils.

The Falcons will be at home to Souths Logan Magpies.

* Article by on behalf of Tweed Seagulls Media

In today's other Hostplus Cup match, Redcliffe Dolphins stole a late win against Norths Devils after Adam Cook kicked a field goal in the 79th minute to seal the game. 


Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.