The I Luv Coffee Burleigh Bears remain unbeaten on the road in 2016 thanks to a 30-18 win over defending champions Ipswich yesterday.
The Jets found their stride in the second half and came home strong, but the Burleigh defence rallied as the Bears notched their seventh win of the season and fourth straight away from Pizzey Park.
With the Jets throwing all of their now famous flair and unconventional play at the Bears, coach Jim Lenihan was pleased with his side’s mental application in defence.
“It was always going to be dangerous game. I don’t think (Ipswich) have had many home games up until this point,” Lenihan said.
“I think it’s more a mental game than a physical one when you play Ipswich. We mentally had to keep going up in defence and giving them no space and I thought we were fairly effective at that all day.
“It was good to grind out the win, too. We managed the clock well, we controlled the ball … overall, if you come to Ipswich and you leave with a win you’re happy.”
Burleigh got away to the perfect start in just the second minute when Jamal Fogarty put up a towering bomb that was spilled by the Jets and Pat Politoni pounced and raced away to score the opener.
The boot of Fogarty has led to many of Burleigh’s points this season and it was another bomb that led to Burleigh’s second try of the day.
Fogarty led the chase to his own kick in the 18th minute, made big contact in the tackle, forced the error, recovered the ball and scored the try himself in a big moment. A penalty goal shortly after stretched the lead to a comfortable 14-0.
The Jets finally got going in the 36th minute when a run-around play on the left hand side set it up for Josh Robinson to score out wide and make it 14-6. Another Bears penalty goal took the score to 16-6 at the break.
Just like in the first half, it didn’t take long for the Bears to get going in the second, as Nathaniel Peteru charged over the line in the 44th minute.
An outrageous flick pass from Haydan Lipp set up a try for Carlin Anderson in the 51st and suddenly the home side had some momentum again.
Passes were starting to stick and they were starting to look likely to score more points.
But just as the home side started getting some momentum, it was Cameron Cullen who shut the door on them with a brilliant individual try with 15 minutes to go.
A beautiful Dane Phillips cut-out ball led to Robinson’s second in the 71st minute, but it was too little too late for the Jets as Burleigh secured third place on the ladder for another week.
The Bears stay on the road for the next two weeks as they travel to Atherton and Redcliffe consecutively. It’s a tough road ahead, but Lenihan is pleased with the direction his side is moving in.
“I hope we’re improving and moving in the right direction,” he said.
“I don’t think we’re a polished side by any stretch of the imagination and we’ve certainly got things we need plenty of work on, but I’d like to think we’re an improving side.
“When you play Ipswich everybody has got to do their role defensively from winger to winger. If you don’t you get caught out. Today we did it and we got a good win.”
Next weekend, the Jets will host another Saturday afternoon game against Easts Tigers.
BURLEIGH BEARS 30 (Pat Politoni, Jamal Fogarty, Nathaniel Peteru, Cameron Cullen tries; Jamal Fogarty 7 goals) def IPSWICH JETS 18 (Josh Robinson 2, Carlin Anderson tries; Haydan Lipp 3 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.