GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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A guaranteed roller coaster ride each week mightn?t sound like much to anyone else on the Gold Coast. Yet for Tweed Seagulls coach Steve Murphy the thrill is still to fade.
Clinging to the slimmest of finals chances, Murphy?s men produced another nail-biter at the Piggabeen Complex on the weekend, scoring in the 78th minute to beat Ipswich 22-20.
A week after Josh Vaughan was denied a match-winner against North Queensland in the dying seconds, teammate Nathan Small crossed out wide with just two minutes on the clock.
It marked the second time this season that Tweed had beaten Ipswich by two points and the 13th time in his past 20 games that coach Murphy had been involved in a game decided by 10 points or less.
?Another heart attack for me,? the exasperated mentor said.
?Who?d do this? We don?t get paid enough. I?ll dead-set collapse soon.?
Visiting Jets coach Trevor Gillmeister had as much, if not more, reason to reach for the defibrillator after his side led from the outset, including a 10-0 advantage midway through the first half.
With Ricky Bird back from injury and fellow veterans Danny Coburn and Brendon Lindsay playing well, it looked as if Ipswich would grab just its fifth victory of the season.
Instead the Jets further embedded their reputation as one of the most competitive teams to ever occupy the Queensland Cup cellar. At least 12 of their games this season have hung in the balance, however the majority have ended in defeat.
?I feel for Gilly because in many ways he?s had a similar season,? said Murphy.
?They?re a competitive unit that keeps trying. One thing you always know is that Ipswich will put in for the full 80 minutes. They just dropped a bit too much ball at the back end.?
Taking full advantage was canny halfback Tim Maccan (pictured) and centre Vaughan, while prop Tom Prichard continued his season-long heroics with another fine game.
Tweed?s latest escape act leaves it four points behind Toowoomba on the ladder. Even if the Seagulls beat Wynnum and Central in the last two rounds, they must rely on Toowoomba losing both its games to Redcliffe and North Queensland by large margins.
Taking into account the number of injuries and player losses this season, Murphy said he would still be reasonably pleased if his side finished sixth. However he warned that for 2006 in particular, ?near enough will not be good enough?.
TWEED HEADS 22 (Nathan Small 2, Josh Vaughan 2, David Strachan tries; Brad Davis goal)
IPSWICH 20 (Steve West, Geoff Chalk, Luke Walker, Ricky Bird tries; Steve West 2 goals)
Special thanks to the QRL website for another fantastic article.
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