The Souths Logan Magpies came from behind to defeat the Burleigh Bears 28-26 at Davies Park yesterday.
Three consecutive tries had given Burleigh a 24-12 lead 10 minutes after halftime and the Bears looked like they were ready to go on with the job.
But playing in front of their home supporters for the first time this season, the Magpies refused to go away and managed to secure their second-straight win to start the year.
“While we made it hard for ourselves at times there was a lot to be proud of,” Souths Logan coach Josh Hannay said.
“It was a really hot day, we had to do a lot of defence on our own line and certainly in the second half we had to guts it out.”
Burleigh got away to a brilliant start with halfback Matt Beddow crossing for the opening try in just the sixth minute.
Unfortunately for the Bears they couldn’t capitalise on their positive start and the Magpies were on top for much of the opening half.
Souths Logan ran in the next three tries with big men Sam Mataora and Phil Dennis crossing from close range and winger Jordan Rapana scoring from dummy half.
However the Magpies were unable to convert any of those tries and when Brad Takarangi set up Anthony Don on the stroke of halftime, the Bears had drawn level.
Much like they did in the first half the Bears opened the second stanza with a bang.
Jamie Anderson broke the line and found Henare Wells in support while an 80 metre intercept try to Khan Ahwang, who continues to shine in his debut season for the Bears, saw Burleigh lead by two converted tries with 30 to go.
But once again Burleigh was unable to capitalise on their good work with Mat Pitman and Kurt Baptiste both scoring out of dummy half in the next 10 minutes to bring the scores level once again.
The next period is when the game was ultimately won and lost.
With 15 minutes left on the clock the Bears were camped on the Magpies try line, forcing three consecutive dropouts and applying plenty of pressure.
The Magpies were up to the challenge though and refused to let the Bears cross their line.
“Things like that give a team confidence,” Hannay said.
“More so than tries and all the fluffy stuff; that guts and determination and defending your line against a good football team on a hot day, that’s where you see growth in your team.”
Burleigh came away from that raid with two points thanks to a penalty goal, but when Souths returned the favour at the other end of the field the Bears couldn’t hold them.
Magpies five-eighth Jack Ahearn scored the match winning try in the 70th minute by diving on a short grubber kick from Baptiste.
Ahearn was one of the standouts on the day, along with Mataora and Andrew Edwards who were terrific in the middle for Souths Logan.
Burleigh has now lost two in a row and while coach Carl Briggs was frustrated with his side’s missed opportunities he commended the effort of his men.
“Last week I was critical of a lack of effort in some parts, today I can’t question that,” he said.
“They’ve produced the effort I asked for today, but we’ve just come up with schoolboy errors that have cost us.
“We went away from what had been successful for us. We came up with some errors that released all of the pressure of Souths and let them back into the game.
“We need to make sure we stick to a game plan and execute it, because when did do that today we were 24-12 up.”
Adding to Burleigh’s drama was the fact that Matt Keating and Chris Kitching both failed to finish the game with pec and shin concerns respectively.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 28 (Jordan Rapana, Jack Ahearn, Mat Pitman, Sam Mataora, Phil Dennis, Kurt Baptiste tries; Jordan Rapana 2 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 26 (Henare Wells, Khan Ahwang, Matt Beddow, Louis Fanene tries; Khan Ahwang 5 goals) at Davies Park.