The Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears scored six unanswered tries to defeat Tweed Heads Seagulls 34-16 at Pizzey Park in Round 16.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak and saw the Bears return to the top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder at the conclusion of the round.
The Seagulls were fired up for the local derby early on, running in three tries in the first half hour to lead 16-0, but the Bears managed to score twice in the last five minutes of the first half and turned momentum in their favour.
From there, they never took the foot off the accelerator and in the end walked away with a victory.
“It was a great win,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“I thought in the first half, (Tweed) got their opportunities because we gave them a lot of penalties coming out of their end
“We never really put them under any pressure to keep working their way out. The second half, we tidied that up a fair bit, defended a lot smarter and more disciplined which took a lot of their petrol out of the game and gave us the opportunity to finish over the top.”
While the Gulls had been managing the fact they were putting out a different-looking team almost weekly due to injury and Titans allocations; the Bears came into this match without XXXX Queensland Residents representatives Jamal Fogarty and Blake Leary.
The home side were also dealt more bad news with Jai Whitbread and Josh Ailaomai also unavailable through injury; compounding the loss of both Dallas Wells and Jess Savage who were both unable to finish the game with separate injury concerns of their own.
On this day, though, they were good enough to cover those injuries. The bench rotation of Jess Savage, Tyler Sparkes and debutant Kai O’Donnell won particular praise from the coach post game, as did Matthew Robinson who was outstanding on the left edge.
While it was all smiles for the Bears at the end of the game, it was the Seagulls who would have been grinning early in the contest, with Kody Parsons winning the race to a smart Kane Elgey kick in the seventh minute.
Elgey was involved again in the 16th minute, when he created space for Kiah Cooper who did an outstanding job to stay in the field of play and score in the left corner.
A relatively soft try for Ryland Jacobs on the right-hand side in the 31st minute gave the visitors a commanding 16-0 lead as the Bears were staring down the barrel of a third straight loss at home.
Burleigh managed to lift, however, and it was workhorse lock Sam Coster who got Burleigh on the board with three to go until halftime when he took a hit up close to the line and refused to give up on the play, reaching out to score when he had little right to do so.
That try seemed to ignite something in the Bears, with Dallas Wells sending Kurtis Rowe through the middle on the very next set. Rowe turned it back to Wells who scored next to the posts and lifted the home side.
Wells, unfortunately, collided with the goal post while scoring and played no further part in the game, but that injury didn’t slow the Bears who took the lead thanks to a Tyrone Roberts-Davis intercept in the 49th minute.
Roberts-Davis made it a double in the 54th minute when he regathered a Pat Politoni chip kick and muscled to the line.
Once Burleigh hit the front, they turned the screws as the Seagulls struggled for every metre trying to get out of their own half.
When Sami Sauiluma brushed past two defenders to score in the 66th minute the result was beyond doubt, while a trick shot grubber from Josh Rogers for a flying Rowe was the icing on top of an outstanding comeback.
BURLEIGH BEARS 34 (Tyrone Roberts-Davis 2, Sam Coster, Dallas Wells, Sami Sauiluma, Kurtis Rowe tries; Tyrone Roberts-Davis 4, Josh Rogers goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 16 (Kody Parsons, Kiah Cooper, Ryland Jacobs tries; Lindon McGrady 2 goals) at Pizzey Park.
*Kevin Braysher is a QRL Correspondent covering the Burleigh Bears
Photo: Tyronne Roberts-Davis (pictured in Round 3, 2018) had some special touches to help Burleigh the a win over Tweed Heads.