A near flawless opening forty has set up a 32-18 win for the Burleigh Bears over the Redcliffe Dolphins.
The Bears, who had not won at Dolphin Oval since 2005, completed 100 percent of their sets en-route to a 22-0 halftime lead.
It was arguably the best half of football Burleigh has played in a number of years and despite a stirring revival from Redcliffe in the second half, it was enough to ensure victory.
“Redcliffe is a good scalp for us,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“We started well, got a bit of a wobble in the second half but I was happy that the boys were able to find their way through that.
“Even though we’re winning a little bit ugly at the moment, we’re winning well over 80 minutes.”
Scoring opened in the 10th minute when Todd Seymour put up a well-placed bomb for Kevin Gordon. Gordon leapt high above the pack and brought the ball down for the opening try.
In the 18th minute Nafe Seluini split the Dolphins’ defence open with a long range break through the middle. Fullback Tyler Chadburn loomed in support and finished off a terrific, long-range movement.
A pair of penalty goals to Chadburn extended the lead further, before Jason Chan crashed over for another four-pointer in the shadows of half-time.
Redcliffe needed to start the second half well if they were to be a chance of running down the big deficit, but it couldn’t have started any worse for them as Kevin Gordon plucked an intercept and ran 100 metres to score his second try of the day.
The Dolphins refused to drop their heads, though, and looked to mount an unlikely comeback.
Josh Benjamin got things rolling for the Dolphins in the 46th minute while Evander Cummins kept the momentum rolling with a try shortly after.
A 62nd minute try to Joe Bond gave the Dolphins a sniff, while a Josh Beehag try three minutes later had the home fans believing the impossible comeback was possible.
But the Bears managed to steady the ship in the final 15 minutes and finished with an exclamation point thanks to a Josh Ailaomai try.
The win was Burleigh’s third on the trot and sees them solidify a strong start to the season.
“We probably lost our way a little bit and lost sight of what we were trying to do with our sets for a while there,” Lenihan said.
“That and fatigue all at once hurt us a bit. We crumbled a bit and they scored some long range tries and played some good football, but I’m very pleased to get away with the win at the end of the day.”
Lenihan praised the work of halves combination Ryley Jacks and Todd Seymour, both of whom had strong showings particularly with their kicking game, along with consistent stand out Jason Chan who again churned out 80 quality minutes.
Earlier in the day the Bears Colts continued on their incredible early season running, crushing defending champs Redcliffe 52-4.
The Bears are now five from five to start the year with a remarkable for-and-against record of 242-32.
Next weekend the Bears return home to Pizzey Park to take on the Easts Tigers.
BURLEIGH BEARS 32 (Kevin Gordon 2, Tyler Chadburn, Jason Chan, Josh Ailaomai tries; Tyler Chadburn 6 goals) def REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 18 (Joe Bond, Josh Beehag, Evander Cummins, Josh Benjamin tries; Oliver Regan goal) at Dolphin Oval.
Redcliffe Dolphins: 1 Joe Bond 2 Oliver Regan 3 Tristan Lumley 4 Josh Beehag 5 Tom Opacic 6 Evander Cummins 7 Luke Capewell 8 Charlie Faingaa 21 Shane Pumipi 10 Brett Coutts 11 Josh Benjamin 12 Harley Aiono 13 Trent Richardson 14 Darcy Etrich 15 Tom Geraghty 16 Anthony Cherrington 17 Reggie Saunders
Burleigh Bears: 1 Tyler Chadburn 18 Jamie Dowling 3 Dimitri Pelo 4 Connor Broadhurst 5 Kevin Gordon 6 Todd Seymour 7 Ryley Jacks 8 Mitch Sharp 9 Nafe Seluini 10 Pele Peletelese 11 Ayden Lee 12 Jason Chan 13 Darren Griffiths 14 Tom Rowles 15 Louis Fanene 16 Josh Ailaomai 19 Kyle McConnell