The I Luv Coffee Burleigh Bears returned to winning form by handing Mackay Cutters their fourth straight defeat to claim a 36-18 victory at Pizzey Park yesterday.
Coming off a disappointing Round 3 loss to Sunshine Coast, the Bears returned to the effort and form that saw them impress in the first two rounds of the season with a comfortable win.
The game started slowly, but once Burleigh took control late in the first half they never looked threatened.
“I thought we were lacking in our effort areas last week, and I thought this week we were really good and improved in those areas,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“It was a bit of a sloppy game to start, but once we got through that first 20 minutes and Josh Ailaomai and Patty Vaivai came on and really got us going forward we went well.
“It’s very important that we reacted the way we did today and I thought a lot of individual efforts were very good after last week.”
Burleigh had several chances early, but squandered them with poor ball handling. It took until the 16th minute when a Mackay error presented an opportunity for Kurtis Rowe to pounce for the opening points.
It was a back-and-forth first half until Lachlan Burr blew the game open in the 33rd minute.
On the back of a quick play the ball from Ailaomai, Burr burst through the defensive line, beat the fullback and scored under the posts to take the Burleigh lead to 12-0.
On the next set of six, the Bears went back-to-back as Tom Rowles and Hayden Schwass combined to put Connor Broadhurst over for an 18-0 halftime lead.
Desperate to claim their first win of the season, Mackay came out fired up in the second half and after a long range break on the left, came back to the right and scored through captain Brenden Treston.
But just like in the first half, it was Burr who put the Bears back on top as he again broke through the middle and set up a try for Tyler Chadburn.
Shortly after, Burr showed great footwork close to the line to find his way over for his second try of the day and put the game out of Mackay’s reach at 30-6.
Mackay showed plenty of heart to keep fighting and were rewarded with a try to Howard Brown, but a trademark charge from Luke Page in the 66th minute saw the lead stretch back to 24 points.
A late consolation try for Mackay brought the final score to 36-18.
Burr’s standout performance won him man of the match honours and while his NRL return is likely if he can continue to display that kind of form, Burleigh fans will be hoping to see him in Bears colours as often as possible in 2016.
“He was really good for us and we hope he might hang around for us a bit more and hope the Titans keep going well so we can keep a little consistency,” Lenihan said.
“I thought our forwards really got forward well today. I think last week we probably didn’t do that as well.
“We can’t grow complacent again now. We’ve just had another win and need to go again and play Norths at Norths which has been a tough team for some sides already this year and we’ve got to keep marching forward and looking to improve.”
BURLEIGH BEARS 36 (Lachlan Burr 2, Kurtis Rowe, Connor Broadhurst, Tyler Chadburn, Luke Page tries Jamal Fogarty 6 goals) MACKAY CUTTERS 18 (Brenden Treston, Howard Brown, Jack Creith tries Liam Taylor 3 goals)
Round 4 reports