Bears claw their way to tough win against Falcons
Despite a late fightback from the Falcons which saw them score two quick tries in the last 10 minutes, the Burleigh Bears produced a courageous effort to win their Hastings Deering Colt match 28-24.
Adding further merit to their victory was the fact Burleigh were left with three interchanges and only one fit player for the whole of the second half.
Coach Jamie Mahon paid tribute to his side’s willingness to compete for the whole game.
“I think it showed a lot of character and desire from the boys to come together and go through the whole 70 minutes to take out the game,” Mahon said.
Despite losing their halfback, fullback and front-rower, Burleigh adapted well and Mahon credited his side’s talent for their ability to adjust so quickly to unexpected changes across the park.
“It was a bit of a challenge for us, but we have the talent within the squad to cover multiple positions so I think that’s the benefit for us that we are able to cover for those injuries,” he said.
Burleigh’s backrow trio of Apiata Noema-Matenga, Darius Farmer and Sean Garner all played starring roles with Mahon highlighting the latter’s performance as instrumental to his side’s gritty win.
"Garner had a tremendous game and he really could focus on his own game with the talent that’s around him and that showed in his performance on the weekend,” Mahon said.
With depth being a feature of their newly strengthened roster, Mahon believes that finals football is well on the agenda for his side this season, despite the competition undertaking a full state-wide format this season.
“We are definitely aiming to put ourselves in the top five and I believe that we have the players to definitely achieve that goal and it’s good to note that we have depth there which we haven’t had in the past.”
This weekend, the Bears will host long-time rivals the Redcliffe Dolphins who are coming off an enthralling 18-18 draw against Souths Logan last weekend.
As the defending premiers in both the FOGS Under Statewide and FOGS Colts Challenge competition, they will look to register their first win of the year when they travel to Burleigh.
Asked where his side needed to improve for their grudge match against long-time rivals, Mahon cited his back five and their need to support the efforts of his tireless forward pack as the key to maintaining an unblemished record in 2018.
“Our forwards were doing so much work to get us out of trouble on the weekend, so the backs need to step it up this week and if they can keep some really good shape and make the most of their opportunities, they will help us beat the Dolphins,” Mahon said.