In-form Bears knock over minor premiers

Burleigh has continued their charge into the Bycroft Cup semi-finals with a 30-10 win over Southport at Pizzey Park on Sunday.


The defending premiers have won five of their last six games and produced one of their best performances of the year to defeat Southport as their momentum continues to build.


Southport, who will finish as minor premiers despite the loss, have been rolling through opposition for the last couple of months and hadnt last suffered defeat since May.


Much of their success has come on the back of physical dominance in the middle of the park; a challenge the Bears were ready for on Sunday.

Both sides threw plenty at each other in an absorbing first half, with Burleigh eventually gaining the ascendancy.


The Tigers got on the board first through winger Michael Davis in the sixth minute, only for Burleigh to strike back and hit the lead with tries to Kevin Nilan and Jonagh Gardiner shortly after.


Jared Blanke muscled his way over the line for the visitors to draw level, but Burleigh regained control soon after.


Gardiner bagged his second try in the 27th minute and was heavily involved in Seb Davies 36th minute try to give the Bears a 10-point lead at the break.


The second half was as tough as the first, but Burleigh remained in control and their defence was superb.


Southport has been running up massive scores in recent months, but were unable to cross the Burleigh tryline at all in the second half.


Winger Ethan Mafi and halfback Hayden Allsop picked up tries for the Bears to give them a deserved 20-point win.


Bears coach Scott Cooke was pleased with the result but was especially pleased with their effort and attitude.


We were just looking to play better than we have done in the past. Our discipline, our execution and ball control has been letting us down, so our main focus today was getting that right, Cooke said.


Weve been talking about our discipline, our attitude and how attitude is defence and all the little clichs but today it was nice to see us put it on the park.


It was where we needed to improve and it was nice to see us out there really digging in and understanding what is required.


Cooke was pleased with the effort of all his players but said the work of prop Mike Tiopira, hooker Seb Davies and halfback Hayden Allsop was particularly outstanding.


Next week the Bears take on a dangerous Currumbin Eagles in an elimination semi-final.


Currumbin have been red hot of late and finished their season with a 62-6 thrashing of Tweed Heads.


Its a good thing to see that we actually put that good performance on the park today, so heading into semi-finals that builds our confidence, Cooke said.


But our last loss was against Currumbin and we didnt beat them by much in the first round so we know they are a very dangerous team.


Were not going to be complacent about what it is. This is elimination semi-finals football where if we lose were gone. This win will mean nothing if we dont turn up next weekend.


In other round 17 Bycroft Cup results Bilambil beat Runaway Bay 36-9 and Tugun defeated Cudgen 40-10.


Next weekend the Tugun Seahawks will host Bilambil in a qualifying final while Burleigh hosts Currumbin in the elimination final. Southport has the weekend off while Cudgen, Tweed Heads and Runaway Bay are eliminated.


BURLEIGH BEARS 30 (J Gardiner 2, E Mafi, H Allsop, S Davies, K Nilan tries H Allsop 3 goals) def SOUTHPORT TIGERS 10 (M Davis, J Blanke tries C Thomas goal)