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Late Tweed charge falls short v Bears

By Kevin Braysher (Burleigh Bears)

Paterika Vaivai and Sam Meskell.
Paterika Vaivai and Sam Meskell. Photo: Vanessa Hafner

The Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears held on to beat the Tweed Heads Seagulls 30-22 in a typically physical local derby at Piggabeen.

Burleigh raced to a big lead, before the Seagulls came storming back late in a match full of niggle and big hits.

The Bears led 30-4 with half an hour remaining, before the Seagulls scored the last 18 points.

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It was a scrappy game of football at times, but Bears coach Jim Lenihan was pleased his side were good enough to beat their local rivals.

“A win against Tweed at any point is a good win, whether it’s a pretty win or not,” he said.

“At the end of the day it’s two points that we get to put in the bank and look forward to next week.

“I thought we played well in the first half. We gave them some opportunities, I think we put two kicks out on the full and a lot of our fifth tackle options weren’t great, but we were able to defend those errors, which I think was a big key for the game.

“So, to be able to defend those errors early put us in a great position to capitalise when we got some field position later on.”

First try

Burleigh opened the scoring in the 6th minute, when hooker Chris Law jumped out of dummy half and hit Matt White with a short ball for the first try.

The home side hit back when John Olive won the race to a perfectly weighted grubber kick by Will Johnstone, but the Bears took control from there.

A long ball to the left from Jamal Fogarty gave Sami Sauiluma some room to move in the 19th minute. Sauiluma drew one and got the ball off to Daniel Vidot, who scored in the corner.

Five minutes later Connor Broadhurst went on a probing run across the field. A quick play-the-ball left the Tweed defence in tatters and Fogarty threw a dummy and sliced through to score.

When skipper Jamie Dowling muscled his way over the line in the 30th minute the score had blown out to 24-4 and the Bears were cruising.

Scuffle

Tensions boiled over in the 38th minute when Bear Hayden Schwass and Seagull Keegan Hipgrave were sin-binned for their roles in a scuffle.

Trailing by 20 points, the Seagulls needed to score next to be a hope of running down the Bears, but instead Burleigh set about putting the match out of reach.

Fogarty had a hand again as he put a cross-field bomb on the spot for a leaping Jake Carl, who scored in spectacular fashion.

Comeback

The situation looked grim for the home side who were trailing by 26 points at this stage, but they refused to roll over and mounted a spirited comeback.

Lindon McGrady charged down a kick, recovered the football and ran 40m to breathe some life into the contest in the 51st minute.

In the 60th minute James Woods used his size and strength to power his way into the corner, while a couple of deflections led to Olive’s second in the 70th minute.

By this point, Jamal Fogarty was also in the sin-bin for a professional foul and the Seagulls had a sniff of a remarkable comeback.

Fast-finishing

But the Bears steadied the ship in the final 10 minutes, holding the fast-finishing Tweed until James Woods grabbed his second with less than a minute left in the game, ensuring the home side finished eight points short.

>> See the full scoring details and final team line-ups for this match at QRL Live

BURLEIGH BEARS 30 (Matt White, Daniel Vidot, Jamal Fogarty, Jamie Dowling, Jake Carl tries; Jamal Fogarty 5 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 22 (John Olive 2, James Wood 2, Lindon McGrady tries; Lindon McGrady goal) at Piggabeen Sports Complex.