Grit, determination, guts.
These were the three key ingredients for Beenleigh Seniors who magnificently pulled off a 19-16 win over Browns Plains in the Open 1 South Ted Beaumont trophy at the magnificent Tapout Energy Stadium, Langlands Park.
Brilliantly led by halves Craig Chapman and Captain Rhys Gorman, the Pride fought back against the odds to seal a well-deserved victory that has the Hammel Park outfit outright leaders on the table.
Wrecking balls for Browns Plains Max Taupo, Lucky Taavale and Michael Ropati were near impossible to stop as they continually hammered the Lions defensive line, but some near perfect defence by the Lions led by Glen Salter, and Jermaine Atutolu, held the Bears out on numerous occasions as they somehow gained that immortal strength when faced with adversity.
After succumbing to some absolutely punishing runs by the Bears, Beenleigh would stay composed and were the first to score a wonderful try started by Five Eighth Chapman.
A great backline move saw the ball move out to damaging second rower Zac Hamilton who was hanging around out wide and used his strength to crash over in the corner to open the scoring.
The usually ever-reliable Rhys Gorman missed the conversion as the ball hit the uprights.
Beenleigh’s second try was a gift from above. After some powerful runs from the kick off by Atutolu (who was simply barnstorming throughout this game) Chapman placed a difficult kick up high.
The Bears fullback somehow lost sight of the ball in the sunny conditions and the ball bounced into the arms of a waiting Josh Johnston who couldn’t believe his luck when he was able to plant the ball down in back to back tries for the Lions. With Gorman slotting the easy conversion the Lions had 10-0 head start early on.
With the match slipping away for Browns Plains, the Bears needed some inspiration and their reliable halfback Josh Whitewood was the player to kick-start the Bears' resurgence.
Whitewoods pin-point kicking was superb and this led to some good field position for the Bears who were now just inside the Lions half. Some quick thinking by fullback Toia out of dummy half saw him kick a well-placed grubber for centre Bruce Tauri who collected the ball and raced away to score the Bears first try.
Toia slotted the goal right on the halftime hooter and the Lions were clinging on to a 10-6 lead at the break.
The second half could not have got off to a better start for the Bears as they took the lead with a superb try to Rob Hill who waltzed through some flimsy Beenleigh defence to score untouched beside the posts.
With Toia adding the easiest of conversions, the game now had a new leader with the Bears edging out the Lions 12-10.
The Lions, who had a depleted side for this game, started to show cracks in their usually rock solid wall of defence. This allowed Browns Plains props Collins and Ropati to once again start to topple the Lions up the middle.
After hanging on bravely to a rampaging Bears pack, the Lions finally caved in on their own line to see Tauri go in again for his second try of the afternoon.
But true to the Lions determination and exceptionally coached by Luke Deller, the Lions hit back from a scrum which saw the underrated Rhys Gorman scoot from the back of the scrum and he dived over to score beside the sticks.
Gorman adding the extras had the score now 16-16 and a showdown was on the cards in the last ten minutes.
With four nail biting minutes left on the clock, it would take some brilliance by Chapman, who slotted a magnificent field goal from 30m out, to see the Lions now leading 17-16 with two minutes to spare.
With both sides throwing everything at each other in the dying minutes, the Bears gave away a silly penalty from in front of the sticks, which saw Gorman step up to take the easy penalty shot to have Beenleigh take out the trophy 19-16 in an absolute thriller!
In the earlier games, St Brendan’s proved too good for a brave Greenbank winning 28-22 in the Open 3 South game. St Brendan’s Matt Klein was inspirational with three tries for the Saints whilst Greenbank’s Steve English was also a notable standout.
In the Open 2 South game, Bulimba Valleys showed why they are such a class act defeating a gallant Sunnybank 20-16. Captain Luke Bell was tireless in defence and showed great leadership.
Highlights were a cracking try to Bulimba winger Aaron Irwin and for Sunnybank Fullback Jarryd Pillay was a tower of strength at the back in attack.