The Romano Group Tweed Heads Seagulls may have left Cairns heartbroken after falling perilously short of pulling off their second victory of the season, against Northern Pride, but there was certainly improved pride and purpose in their performance.
The Seagulls went down 6-4 in a tough, grinding clash at Barlow Park on Saturday.
The defensive effort, after the 58-0 loss to Sunshine Coast in the previous round, was vastly improved and the injection of Titans players John Olive at right centre and Eddy Pettybourne in the middle added spark to the side.
Fellow Titan, Fijian Test prop Ben Nakabuwai, won the players’ player award from his teammates and it was his bust that led to the Gulls’ only try, to right winger Peter Lee early in the second half. Michael Burgess’ conversion from the touchline was right on target but fell a metre short from levelling the scores.
Pride’ five-eighth Jordan Biondi-Odo had opened the scoring in the fourth minute, pouncing onto a bomb that was spilled by Tevita Folau over the line. It was converted by Khan Ahwang.
Lee scored after the ball was flung to the right and a long Lindon McGrady pass gave him a clear run to the corner.
The Seagulls just fell short of claiming the match late when Kurt Bernard charged at the line but lost the ball in a crunching two-man tackle just short of the stripe.
“It’s a good reminder that we’re not a bad footy side, we’ve just put in a few ordinary performances,” skipper Sam Meskell, in his 50th match for the club, said.
“We spoke after the game that we have to put in that effort every week to compete.
“It’s not going to get any easier but it’s a good starting point.”
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NORTHERN PRIDE 6 (Jordan Biondi-Odo try; Khan Ahwang goal) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 4 (Peter Lee try) at Barlow Park.