Tweed Heads snatch late victory against Bears
Tweed Heads produced a courageous comeback in a fiery Gold Coast derby to defeat Burleigh 28-24 and register their first Hastings Deering Colts win of the season in front of their home crowd at Piggabeen Sports Complex last Saturday.
Both sides came into the clash with contrasting form with Burleigh registering two strong wins to open their campaign, whereas Tweed Heads had struggled to produce consistency in their opening encounters, falling to Norths and Victoria.
The Bears started with purpose and opened the scoring through Lochlyn Sheldon in the fifth minute before the Seagulls replied two minutes later via a Liam Hampson barge over under the posts to even the scores at 6-6.
With the rain tumbling down, conditions became dour and both teams traded tries before Bears halfback Harry Fitzhugh broke the game open with a piercing solo effort from 40m out to see the Bears head into the sheds with an 18-10 lead.
The Seagulls were desperate to arrest the second half fades that have plagued them in the opening two rounds and their intent was evident as Hampson scored his second try from close range to close the gap to just two points early in the second half.
A try to Jaxson Paulo in the 50th minute looked to have put Burleigh into a favourable position and when Zae Wallace produced a clutch sideline conversion to push their lead to eight, the Gulls looked in trouble heading into the final 20 minutes.
Yet the home side refused to concede, and their perseverance was rewarded when Jese Smith-Shields crossed in the 55th minute to trail by two before his captain Bostyn Hakaraia produced a wonderful solo effort to beat six defenders and cross for the match-winning try next to the goalposts.
The Seagulls were able to stave off the Bears for the final five minutes to cap off a gusty come-from-behind effort and register their first win of the season.
This weekend, the Seagulls will have the bye, while the Bears are at home to the Souths Logan Magpies who are searching for their first win.
With three rounds of the Hastings Deering Colts complete, Norths and Victoria share top spot on the competition ladder with six points, while the Blackhawks are third on five points after their last round draw against the Pride.
There are four teams locked in a battle for fourth behind them in Wynnum Manly, Burleigh, CQ Capras and Western Mustangs who are all with four points from two wins.
Victoria also head the try scorers list via boom winger Iliesa Ratuva who has crossed for five tries. Hooker Trent Toelau is close behind with four, while Wynnum recruit Shannon Gardiner leads the competition’s points scorers list with 28 points from two tries and 10 goals.
Round 4 of the Hastings Deering Colts this weekend will be a shortened round due to a number of byes; but rugby league fans will still see Ipswich host Wynnum tonight (Thursday) night, while the Falcons will travel to Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park to meet the Easts Tigers on Saturday.