The Burleigh Bears have gone down 22-14 in a scrappy opening round game against the Central Queensland Capras in Rockhampton.
Travelling to Rockhampton on a hot afternoon in early March was always going to be a tough assignment and it showed as both sides struggled with ball-handling throughout the game.
“It was a close game all the way through, but during the middle and back end of the second half we just turned the ball over too many times to give ourselves a chance,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“We did a lot right, we just didn’t hold the ball when we needed to.
“At times we were well and truly over the top of them, but too many times we’d try to push a pass that didn’t need to be thrown and we were a little bit impatient with controlling the ends of our sets.”
Burleigh’s strike centre pairing of Dimitri Pelo and Brad Tighe both crossed for first half tries as the Bears battled to a 10-10 halftime scoreline.
A try to Jared Te’o straight after the break saw the Bears seize the advantage, but they were unable to maintain it as the Capras ran in two unanswered tries to claim an eight-point win.
“It’s disappointing to not come away with the win, but there are no excuses,” Lenihan said.
“The Capras I think have improved a bit since last year with some good off-season signings and credit to them.
“For us, we weren’t up to it on the day and we’ve got some things to work on after round one, that’s for sure.”
Burleigh now has seven days to lick their wounds before again hitting the road for their round two clash with the Norths Devils at Bishop Park.
Elsewhere it was a successful afternoon for the Bears. The FOGS Colts dismantled Souths Logan with a 64-4 thrashing while the A-grade squad won the Gold Coast 9s competition at Bilambil. They outlasted 15 other teams, lastly beating Ormeau 44-0 in the final.
CQ CAPRAS 22 (Javarn White, Tarrant Mariner, Russ Aitken, Chris Stolk tries; Matt Minto 3 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 14 (Siuatonga Likiliki, Dimitri Pelo, Brad Tighe tries; Connor Toia goal) at Browne Park.
CQ Capras: 1. Javarn White 20. Ray Ebsworth 3. Russell Webber 4. Ian Webster 5. Tarrant Mariner 6. Matt Minto 7. Russ Aitken 8. Peter Gallen 9. Josh Mitchell 10. Fabian Souter 11. Corey Oates 12. Guy Williams 13. Gavin Hiscox 14. Aaron Watson 19. Gerard Tema 17. Andrew Dale 18. Chris Stolk 19. Gerard Tema 20. RJ Halls
Burleigh Bears: 1. Anthony Don 21. Siuatonga Likiliki 3. Dimitri Pelo 4. Brad Tighe 5. Jared Teo 6. Connor Toia 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Josh Ailaomai 9. Nafe Seluini 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Ayden Lee 12. Jason Chan 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Christian Hazard 15. Louis Fanene 16. Kyle McConnell 17. James Dunley 18. Shaun Maloney