QUICK WRAP: Seagulls vs Tigers
25 March 2023 - Tweed Heads play Easts in round 3 of the BMD Premiership in the featured game at Piggabeen Sports Complex, Tweed Heads
Was the game worth watching?
This wrap is on a week’s delay but with seemingly no featured women's games this weekend and the NRLW signing machine warming up during the week, it felt appropriate to start taking a closer look at the women’s talent pool. We’ll talk more about that early next week.
Bearing that in mind and if we’re being honest with ourselves, state cup is for the sickos and, rightly or wrongly, so is women’s football. The traffic numbers attest to that on both counts. Logically then, women’s state cup is for the true freaks at the nexus of that Venn diagram. Even for that level of freaky, I don’t think you’d miss much by giving this a swerve. I have the best play of the whole game below anyway.
Thanks for reading The Maroon Observer. Subscribe to receive new posts in your inbox.
Did the Seagulls or the Tigers look like the better team?
It was pretty comfortably the Tigers. While Tweed had the upper hand in the opening quarter of the game, as reflected by the scoreline, the Tigers had too much ball, made too many metres and didn’t commit anywhere near the same number of errors. Easts had it stitched up with fifteen to go and the rest was just a formality.
Were the Tigers the better team?
Yes and it wasn’t even close. While completion rates aren’t everything, you aren’t going to win many games completing just over half your sets. Tweed punished themselves with a lopsided error count and an equally lopsided penalty count, including a bin at 60’. They didn't get much of the ball and so didn't get to fire any shots.
Note: I haven’t sorted out advanced stats system for the women’s game as yet. Small sample sizes and changes in game lengths make it more difficult than the men’s side of the equation. They're also completely unnecessary for this game.
Did you notice?
I have to say that watching top tier players in the second tier is always fascinating to see how they respond.
Jaime Chapman, former Dragon, former Bronco, Indigenous All-star, Jillaroo and now Titan, has been playing fullback for the Tweed Seagulls this year.
Chapman started the 2022 NRLW season at fullback for Brisbane, before struggling and then being moved to wing and struggling some more and then being moved to centre where she murdered a couple of teams. I don’t think anyone thought she lacked the physical talents to play fullback - or anywhere in the first six jumpers - but she was found to be missing a not insubstantial part of the mental skillset. I think we got more of the same in this game.
Here’s one of the best steps in the game for Tweed's second try.
Here’s Chapman escaping the in goal and making 15 metres from a terrible kick1 with an even worse bounce.
Here’s her getting caught in goal for a ball that probably would've rolled dead with a few more seconds patience, which didn't end up mattering because the Tigers' chasers were offside.
Chapman is not even in the frame on the wide angle of this conceded try, despite that being the side where the Tigers have had success all day, and Nikayla Sines cops a whack to the head for her trouble.2
I don't know what happened here but it has shades of the old Hesi Niu.
Which is to say some of this is coaching and some of this is just stuff that happens to fullbacks (especially ones on poor teams). Tedesco doesn't save every try and he isn't always in position. But also, expectations should be higher for one of two players on the field - the other being 34 year old Rona Peters - that are proper first graders.
Whether Karyn Murphy has NRLW chops that Kelvin Wright didn't will be clear fairly early into the Titans' 2023 season. If Murphy wants Chapman at fullback, they've both got a bit of work to do, but it's hard to see how you could put Chapman there when Evania Pelite and presumably Apii Nicholls are also options.
Zara Canfield didn’t seem to deserve her binning. She was warned earlier in the game and seemed to have copped a drive-by for being involved in a dangerous tackle, which on replay did not appear to be all that dangerous and Canfield wasn’t the instigator. Oh well, I don’t think it made a difference to the result as it was only a matter of time for the Tigers and the little galvanisation this gave the Seagulls quickly petered out.
Jamie-Lee Lewis is an interesting prospect, if for her last name than anything else. She had some extremely nice passes against the Magpies in round 1, playing at five-eighth (for example) but she normally plays ball playing lock for the Tigers. The attack seemed a little clunky in this game, with the Tigers being gifted tries rather than earning them, and her lack of accuracy in conversions made the game seem closer than it was. I’m fascinated to see if she makes the next step up. I’ll be trying to keep an eye out, which will be easy because of the rainbow headgear.
At the time of writing, Tweed have just lost 24-10 to Burleigh in round 4. That will see them still winless after four games and they will be extremely lucky to get to 2-5 by the end of the season. A pretty poor performance all round.
Easts are 1-1-1 and, despite being a Storm feeder and not really having any NRLW-calibre names, look good for an outside shot at the semis. The schedule is Wynnum, Capras, Cutters and Bears and I think at least two of those are winnable. A 3-3-1 record with a good for and against should get them into the finals.
Thanks for reading The Maroon Observer. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe below to receive all the latest about Queensland rugby league.
If you really enjoyed this, please share it or forward it on to someone who might enjoy it.
Cuppari put up a few stinkers.
Which I guess demonstrates Chapman’s speed if nothing else.