Wynnum beat Tweed in 2nd battle of
the Seagulls


Wynnum winger and leading Queensland Wizard Cup tryscorer Simon Phillips could return to the NRL within the next two seasons, according to coach Neil Wharton.

Following a heartening 42-28 win over Tweed Heads at home on Sunday, Seagulls fans were given several overdue reasons to smile.

Primarily, after a season of woe, the bayside club is in the frame to finish with equal wins and losses, provided it beats Burleigh next Sunday. The match at Kougari Oval ? the final game of the 2005 regular season ? could also decide the minor premiership and Spotless Club Championship.

In an entertaining sideshow to the bigger picture, speedster Phillips may capture the leading tryscorer?s trophy, with the Mackay talent currently boasting 18 tries to be one ahead of Greg Inglis (Norths).

Wharton said the consistency and competitiveness of the 22-year-old had come to the fore, allaying the initial concerns of coaching staff.

?When I first came to the club I was told about an angry young man who was quick to get dirty on things,? Wharton said.

?I believe Simon has improved noticeably this year and I hope he sees it that way too. He has his off-field balance right, which is as important as anything.

?He listens, trains well and tries hard and he?s been rewarded. I believe another season or so and he?ll really be making an impact and have something to offer at the next level up.?

Phillips briefly flirted with the NRL in 2002 with North Queensland before leg injuries stymied his career. Like others, he found it took more than a season to regain his old pace.

Wharton himself is hoping for to a return to touch, after the three-time premiership winner has endured two consecutive seasons with teams that have finished just outside the top five. Wynnum will announce their coach for 2006 this week and Wharton is one of the final candidates.

The secondary school teacher said he had no doubt ?put some noses out of place? in his first year at Kougari Oval, aiming to change the scenery for a club that is yet to make a Queensland Wizard Cup final.

But he had reason to be happy after his troops came from 16-0 against danger team Tweed Heads to win their second game in the last three weeks.

Veteran forwards Danny McAllister, Craig Greenhill and Clayton Maher led by example, while Gareth Turton, Royce Simms and Jim Ahmat let their presence be felt. Teenager Dane Tworek also debuted for Wynnum.

A large crowd is expected for the Round 22 battle with Burleigh on Sunday afternoon at 3pm. Tweed Heads plays Central at the Piggabeen Complex on the same day.

WYNNUM SEAGULLS 42 (Tries: Nathan Murphy 2, Jim Ahmat 2, Simon Phillips, Herman Lafaele, Danny McAllister, Brett McPherson. Goals: Damien Quinn 5.)


TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 28 (Tries: Nat Barnes, David Strachan, Andrew Moroney, Eddie Harrison, Tom Prichard. Goals: Brad Davis 4.)

Special thanks to the QRL website for another fantastic article.


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