Wynnum Manly are dealing with one of their toughest opening records in recent history and were again denied at home, losing to the last-minute heroics of the Souths Logan Magpies who beat them 21-20 yesterday afternoon.
The Magpies swooped early, riding two penalties to scale the length of the field before the NRL-experienced Travis Waddell scooted past some over-eager defenders for an early strike two minutes in.
The Seagulls struck back in similar fashion eight minutes later, with a penalty delivering them to the Magpie 20m line, allowing them returning fire through backline strike-man Mitchell Buckett.
The successful sideline conversion by Mat Seamark would give Wynnum the lead in a game for the first time since their opening try in Round 1.
In the 17th minute, enterprising play by the Magpies saw some hot-potato passing find the hands of Jamayne Isaako who stepped, jinked and powered his way over in an impressive individual effort.
Greg Eden, in his first game back since earning an NRL berth, did nothing to discredit his early season call-up, providing plenty of spark to the Wynnum Manly attack including an improvised “something out of nothing” grubber to send team-mate Peter Gubb across the line.
Souths Logan worked hard for games’ entirety, the efforts down the middle corridor by his forwards noted as “dominant” by Magpies coach Josh Hannay.
Amongst that dominance stood Phillip Dennis, his coach crediting much of the win to the veteran’s attitude and experience.
“On a day where both sides were trying to get some ascendancy through that middle permit, I thought [Dennis] was really strong for us, but he also gave us a really calm head out there when things were close.”
The second half provided more excitement when against the run of play, Magpie winger Jonathon Kent intercepted a long Seagull pass with a 45m try under the posts the spoils of his gamble.
Four minutes later, a fortuitous Eden try off a Seamark kick would close the try-scoring for the day, the top notch goal-kicking by Seamark keeping the game within two.
Play had come to a stalemate for the middle period of the second half, both sides partnering each other’s mistakes, penalties and near misses.
It took the return of Seamark’s prosperous boot to see the game tied again, the half nailing a penalty goal from 30m out with four-minutes remaining.
A draw seemed to be looming, but a 79th minute line-break from a beautifully worked Phil Dennis-Sam Scarlett inside move saw Magpie five-eighth Jack Joass shoot down the field, but stopped inside the 10 by a desperate Patrick Templeman.
The sequence that followed saw heroics that forwards only dream off.
Late in the tackle count, Jack Joass who just made the break, played the ball back to halfback Scarlett who sent the ball to prop Andrew Edwards, who paused before offloading to fellow forward Leon Panapa who gathered himself to slot over the game-winning field goal.
“Honestly, I was wondering who was going to stand-up and take a shot and with those two [Joass and Scarlett] guys involved with the [previous] ruck … I didn’t think we were going to have the composure to take a shot,” Hannay said after the game.