Capras can't halt Burleigh's surge
The I Luv Coffee Burleigh Bears extended their winning streak to four and will remain at the top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder for at least the next fortnight thanks to a 44-20 win over CQ Capras on Saturday night.
It is the first time the Bears have won four on the trot in over five years, and with a bye to come next week they cannot be knocked off top spot until at least Sunday, July 10.
“We need it, badly,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said of the upcoming bye.
“Some teams in the competition have had two byes already and this is going to be our first.
“It has been a great effort up until this point to go this long without it, but the bye will give us a chance to get away from football for a week and come back refreshed.”
The Bears had been beaten in five of their previous six appearances at Browne Park, but this time they managed to break the Rockhampton hoodoo thanks largely to a strong second half performance.
Neither side could grab the momentum early on, with the teams engaging in a first-half shoot out.
Bears prop Luke Page got scoring underway in the ninth minute, only for the Capras to respond with a try to their own prop, Gavin Hiscox, five minutes later.
Tries to the Bears through Waka Wanahi and Sami Sauiluma were countered by a Junior Kirisome double for the home side.
Only the sharp shooting of Jamal Fogarty kept the Bears ahead 18-14, but a try to Oliver Regan on the stroke of halftime gave the Bears a 10-point buffer at the break.
A try straight after the break to Tarrant Mariner brought the Capras back within four points, but it would be the last time the home side had any impact on the scoreboard.
Regan grabbed his second try of the day in the 53rd minute to give the Bears breathing space, and they went on with the job after that.
Kurtis Rowe continued his rich vein of form with a 63rd minute try, while Jeff Lynch crossed in the 71st minute to bring up 40-points.
Regan completed his hat-trick in the 78th minute to put the cherry on top of a 44-20 win.
“The score probably didn’t reflect the outcome of the game,” Lenihan said. “It wasn’t until the last 15 minutes or so that we actually got some breathing space; it was a tough game.
“It was a bit of a tit for tat affair early in the game and it wasn’t a great start for us, but we cleaned it up a bit in the second half and were able to finish it off.
“(In the second half) I think we put more effort into our defence and we focused on defending well which forced errors and gave us opportunities to score through field position.
“It was just a better attitude with our defence which we were probably lacking in the first half.”
While it wasn’t a complete, 80-minute performance, the Bears still found a way to reverse the momentum and record another strong win.
The side has plenty of confidence at the moment and with their 12th win of the season and their fourth in a row they are in an excellent position, but with a tough run home Lenihan insists they must keep improving.
“We’re a side at the moment where everyone is contributing well and it’s hard to pick stand outs, which is good,” Lenihan said.
“We haven’t won four games in a row at this club for a long time. We’re doing things pretty well at the moment, but we’ve still got a very hard run to finish things off.
“The main goal is still to try and just make the finals, and hopefully we will make it from here, but then it is to finish as high as we possibly can.”
BURLEIGH BEARS 44 (Oliver Regan 3, Luke Page, Waka Wanahi, Sami Sauiluma, Kurtis Rowe, Jeff Lynch tries; Jamal Fogarty 6 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 20 (Junior Kirisome, Brandon Manase, Gavin Hiscox, Tarrant Mariner tries; Matt Minto 2 goals) at Browne Park.