Almanac Rugby League – The Old Boys Can Bar corner and the 50 cent doubles

The Preliminary Finals of the Queensland Cup were both played at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Oval this weekend with two clear-cut results setting up an intriguing Grand Final next Sunday at Lang Park. Full credit to ABC-TV for telecasting both games live throughout the State.

Memo to ABC-TV bean counters: In your drive to cut costs in 2012, do not, I repeat DO NOT, scrap your long-standing coverage of the Saturday Queensland Cup match. To use a soccer term, to do so would be a real own goal as the current coverage is essential to providing a local league input into the game’s development in Queensland.

In Saturday’s match, watched from the comfort of my lounge chair, minor premiers Tweed Heads Seagulls took on defending premiers Northern Pride. The Seagulls dropped only one minor round game all season before stumbling in the qualifying final to the sixth-placed Wynnum-Manly. The Pride came into the game after a strong win over the much improved Ipswich.

On a lovely spring afternoon, the Seagulls were back to their best while the Pride were just awful. Tweed regained their structured game plan which has worked so well all season, mixing solid forward play with expansive backline moves to rack up a 24 – 0 scoreline by half-time. The Pride had done well to score zero. Essentially, game over at that point.

Although the northerners won the second half 10 – 2, you wouldn’t have thought so as they made schoolboy errors, had an ill-disciplined Riethmuller sent off, and generally self-destructed. I expect that they flew home last night with their collective pride well dented.

Tweed Heads march on, deservedly, to another grand final. They’ve been the benchmark all season and will probably start the big game as favourites based on that fact. With a cool head like Davis and his astute kicking game, the scheming Maccan running selectively from dummy half and a talented playmaker in King, the Seagulls have a lot going for them.

I went to Dolphin Oval this afternoon to see the second final between Redcliffe Dolphins and Wynnum-Manly Seagulls. These two sides have a traditional rivalry going back decades. When Wynnum ran out I thought they looked big and strong. They’ve been on a roll lately and they had that look about them. By comparison, the Dolphins looked a bit light on.

Memo to Manly-Warringah supporters: Wynnum-Manly supporters travel! They came in droves, motoring for an hour from the southern bayside to the northern peninsula for this match. Easily matching the volume and energy of the locals, they effectively took any crowd factor out of the game.

On a glorious, warm and sunny afternoon, I was affirmed in my view that here is rugby league in its essence. The ground was an absolute picture with its lush green carpet and advertising hoardings featuring local traders, including our preferred local renovator, J & R Builders; The Dick “Tosser” Turner Hill sported a good crowd; the Old Boys Can Bar corner was well patronised. The 50 cent and dollar doubles sold out.

Between matches and at half-time, scores of kids of all ages and a few parents carrying waistline baggage had a kick on the ground. As usual, the last to leave the field were the 16 year old wanna-be, “look at me” types – but, hey, their hair is just sensational! The PA soundtrack was an 80s throwback with hits from Cold Chisel, INXS, the Oils, James Reyne and Icehouse.

Redcliffe had a useful breeze behind them in the first half. The opening quarter of the game was as good as anything you’d like to see – tight, uncompromising, rugged forward play, low risk (it’s a final, after all), in your face. An unconverted try to the Seagulls after 22 minutes was probably a fair indication of their slight superiority. It remained tight for another fifteen minutes with Wynnum defending their line grimly as the Dolphins had a good period.

The game changed on a 12 point swing four minutes before the break. Georgetown appeared to score for the Dolphins near the goalposts from a scrappy, suspect movement but was denied by the video ref for a knock-on in the build-up. Wynnum moved downfield effectively to score a converted try to take a ten point lead into half-time.

Another try five minutes after the break affirmed the Seagulls superiority. Playing with confidence, structure, flair and hard-nosed determination, Wynnum dominated the remainder of the game while the Dolphins self-destructed with disorganised, directionless and ill-disciplined rubbish. In the end it was 36 – 0, probably an accurate reflection of the game’s flow.

I couldn’t see a chink in the Seagulls’ line-up – a strong and mobile forward pack well led by Dalziel-Don (how come no NRL club has come knocking on his door?), strong halves (ex-Dolphin Seamark kicked 6 from 8), robust backline, and a fullback to watch in Granville. The Dolphins? Tried hard but just no match today.

So, in next week’s grand final, we have the deserving Tweed Heads Seagulls up against the surging Wynnum-Manly Seagulls. Bear in mind their season’s form: Tweed lost only one minor round game – in the very last round; by contrast, Wynnum have had a losing minor round season – 10 wins, a draw and 11 losses. After a late hiccup, Tweed seem to have regained their rhythm; Wynnum have irresistible momentum.

Who’ll pluck whom on Sunday at Lang Park?

About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of Footy Almanac's online editors, I moonlight as an editor for hire - check me out at


  1. Greg Mallory says

    terrific article Ian,


  2. So at the Grand Final of the State competition in the Queensland Rugby League, the Seagulls will be playing the Seagulls? I would like think that this would be a unique problem but of course the same thing would happen in the VFL (the Victorian Aussie Rules equivalent competition) if Coburg (Tigers) ever played Werribee (Tigers).

    The Victorian situation can be explained as a bit of bastardy by AFL Club Richmond who changed Coburg’s mascot when they acquired the Coburg Lions as their feeder club. Perhaps Ian or Greg could inform us Southerners how the same situation occurred in Queensland rugby league?

  3. Damian Roache says

    Seven years late ….but what the heck !

    Dave the situation is fairly simple actually.

    The Wynnum Manly Seagulls have been a long standing member of the Queensland Rugby League scene plying their trade in the Brisbane Rugby League prior to the State based comp coming in.

    The Tweed Heads Seagulls dominated their local competition just over the border in NSW and when the opportunity was offered to join the QRL State comp they grabbed it with both hands.

    Would have liked to have seen an opportunity for my old Toowoomba club the All Whites Saints to do battle with the Brisbane based Northern Suburbs Devils ! :) A battle for the souls of Rugby League supporters !!!

    (Might have to expand on this entwining of the nicknames theme !!! Bit like the fun it would be if 70’s punk band The Jam was covering Bread …..the 70’s R and B band ! )

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