New recruits shine for Burleigh
THE Burleigh Bears have opened their 2014 Intrust Super Cup campaign with a 36-24 win over the Central Queensland Capras at Pizzey Park.
There were plenty of new faces on display for Burleigh and they all managed to shine.
Khan Ahwang grabbed three tries on the left wing while Nafe Seluini was electric out of dummy half when he was injected off the bench.
Matt Bell and Matt Keating showed why they have spent so much time in the NRL with professional displays, while Matt Beddow and Henare Wells also stood out.
The win was a good start to the season for the Bears, but it was soured by the loss of Jamie Dowling in the very first minute.
Dowling, who debuted for the Gold Coast Titans last year, went down with a knee injury after 40 seconds and didn’t return.
The Bears opened the scoring through Ahwang in the sixth minute when he was on the end of a deft Henare Wells grubber kick.
Ahwang was at it again five minutes later when he beat several men to score his second giving the Bears a 10-0 lead.
The Capras hit back shortly afterwards with back-to-back tries to Marco Delapena and Sebastian Martins giving them the lead, but it was short lived.
Burleigh took the lead back in the 29th when Ahwang found himself in space deep in his own territory and raced 80 metres to complete his hat trick.
In the next 10 minutes the Bears took the game away from the Capras with Beddow, Wells and Seluini all scoring tries.
All three tries came on the back Mark Ioane and Seluini. Ioane bent the line back, off-loaded and got quick play the balls allowing Seluini to use his electric speed out of dummy half and cause chaos and take Burleigh to a 30-12 halftime lead.
Bears coach Carl Briggs said while Ioane and Seluini were the men who made the impact late in the first half, credit also deserved to go to the men who started and did the grunt work before them.
“I think you’ve got to give credit to Matt Bell, Luke Page and Darren Griffiths who started,” he said.
“We had a game plan and those guys set a platform for Mark and Nafe to come on and that was the whole point of it. It was a good all round forward effort today.”
The second half was a bit scrappy, but it saw the Capras fight and stay in the contest.
Theeran Pearson, who was a stand out in a beaten Capras team, scored immediately after the break to cut the margin to 12, but a long range try to Anthony Don on the back of another Seluini break in the 51st minute snuffed out the comeback.
The Capras scored again on the siren to see the final score of 36-18.
Pearson was also unable to finish after he was taken off injured, while Burleigh’s Kyle McConnell was placed on report for a shoulder charge in the 57th minute.
BURLEIGH BEARS 36 (Khan Ahwang 3, Henare Wells, Anthony Don, Matt Beddow, Nafe Seluini tries; Khan Ahwang 4 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 24 (Marco Delapena, Theeran Pearson, Andrew Dale, Sebastien Martins tries; Blake Wallace 4 goals) at Pizzey Park.