The last time Redcliffe Dolphins met the Tweed Heads Seagulls they were leading the competition and were humbled by the then last placed Tweed Heads Seagulls.
Unfortunately for the Seagulls their ladder position hasn’t changed, but the result did this time as the Dolphins were clinical in the end and kept themselves in the hunt for claiming that top spot back before the end of the regular season.
A low scoring first half saw just the one try and a 6-0 lead to the home side. The Dolphins opened up in the second with four more tries to one from the Seagulls, the first just four minutes after the break to the always feisty Curtis Johnston. Troy Giess continued his recent try scoring with another 7 minutes later, and when Josh Beehag crossed in the 61st minute.
Tweed Heads finally crossed in the 70th minute, but it was all too late, and Redcliffe added one more try through prop Matt Lodge with 6 minutes to go.
Redcliffe are still just three points behind the PNG Hunters in second place, and have a guaranteed two points coming for a bye. They have given themselves every chance of finishing first, but are guaranteed of at least a home final at this stage. A second place and trip to Port Moresby for the finals may not be much of a reward though.
Tweed Heads will need to win one more game than Central Capras in the last two weeks to avoid finishing the season in last place.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 30
Tries: Nathan Watts (11m), Curtis Johnston (44m), Troy Giess (51m), Josh Beehag (61m), Matt Lodge (74m)
Goals: Tyson Gamble 5/5 Conv
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 4
Tries: Brayden McGrady (70m)
Redcliffe can smell a second consecutive Minor Premiership, coming good at the right time of the year with three straight wins after two losses in a row previous to that.
One of those wins was a very impressive win over the competition leading Hunters at Dolphin Oval, and they are now within three points of the PNG side and with a bye and guaranteed two points to come in the last three weeks.
Talking of guaranteed points, this match up against the Tweed Heads Seagulls appears on paper to one of those for Redcliffe, but not to forget that earlier in the year the Seagulls stunned the competition by beating the then competition leaders Redcliffe convincingly at Piggabeen.
Tweed Heads followed that up a few weeks later by beating the PNG Hunters in Port Moresby no less, their second victory over a competition leaders in a short space of time. So a win against quality opposition is not out of the question. And the Hunters are coming up soon too.
Tweed Heads have been last on the ladder for a large chunk of the season, and are currently enjoying a brief stint above other sides and a win in the last three rounds will give them a chance to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon. At the other end of the ladder Redcliffe will know the result of the Hunters v Blackhawks match before this game, and the minor premiership could be a step closer if they win on Saturday night.
1. Zach Strasser 2. Joshua Beehag 4. Tom Opacic 14. Joseph Bradley 5. Curtis Johnston 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jack Ahearn 8. Nick Slyney 22. Shane Pumipi 13. Sam Anderson (c) 11. Daniel Bridge 12. Troy Giess 17. Nathan Watts 9. Hugh Pratt 10. Matthew Lodge 15. Tyson Cleal 20. Myles Taueli
Coach: Adam Mogg
Tweed Heads Seagulls
1. Jayden Baker 2. Regan Ogle 3. James Wood 4. Kurtis McDonald 5. Peter Lee 6. Lindon McGrady 7. Phoenix Hunapo 8. Carne Doyle-Manga 9. Samuel Meskell (c) 10. Ben Nakubuwai 11. Lamar Manuel-Liolevave 12. Tristan Lumley 13. Keegan Hipgrave 14. Nicholas Harrold 15. Samuel Saville 16. Eddy Pettybourne 17. William Johnstone 20. Jenan Parrish
Coach: Aaron Zimmerle
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