TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 34 defeat TOOWOOMBA CLYDESDALES 22
It wasn�t a good day to be a Kiwi or a Clydesdale, as Tweed Heads continued its dominance over Toowoomba, winning 34-22 at Clive Berghofer Stadium.
In a match where Toowoomba was missing more than half-a-dozen regulars and Tweed was without inspirational skipper Andrew Moroney, the two clubs nevertheless put on an enthralling display at the top of the Range.
Despite losing, the Clydesdales held the lead twice and, for the vast majority of the match, the difference between the sides was a converted try or less.
It was only tries to Nat Barnes and Jeff Moate in the final 10 minutes that put the result beyond doubt, extending the Seagulls undefeated record against the Clydesdales since entering the Cup in 2003.
Among the speed and intensity of the match Toowoomba suffered injuries to three members of its aspiring �Kiwi Connection�.
After looking set for a big game, Joe Clarke hobbled off with an ankle injury midway through the first half. Jason McDougall seemingly bled from the nose each time he touched the football, while Ben Vaeau incurred a leg injury in the first tackle of the second half.
The shortage of forwards led coach John Dixon to play winger Tame Tupou in the centre of the ruck, with Nick Parfitt shifted wide and Aaron Barba at fullback.
Barba had his usual enigmatic impact on the match, holding a running battle with Tweed�s impressive five-eighth Brad Davis and scoring a vital try in the 55th minute after toeing ahead a loose ball.
Yet the day belonged to the visitors, 18-16 leaders at halftime, minus severely concussed prop Eddie Harrison.
Flighty backs Barnes and Jay Hampson were a danger each time they touched the ball, halves Davis and Tim Maccan (pictured) were precise and consistent, while Tom Prichard and Moate fought for every metre.
Toowoomba�s best were diminutive duo Michael Ryan and Ian Lacey. Ryan scored two tries and was a constant danger, while Lacey was fiercely competitive in every aspect.
Enjoying a homecoming of sorts, former Quilpie junior and Downlands College graduate Keiron Lander was thrust into the action with half-an-hour remaining.
The Clydesdales rookie had mixed results, going on report for a late tackle, making good ground with the ball, having his pants pulled down on television and falling short in defence several times.
Next Saturday Toowoomba is at home again to Central, with Tweed playing Norths at Bishop Park on Sunday.
TWEED HEADS 34 (Nat Barnes 2, Jay Hampson, Tom Prichard, Jeff Moate, Brad Davis tries; Brad Davis 5 goals)
TOOWOOMBA 22 (Michael Ryan 2, Greg Eastwood, Aaron Barba tries; Nick Parfitt 3 goals)
Special thanks to the QRL website for another fantastic article.
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