Burleigh have won consecutive games for the first time since June by defeating the Souths Logan Magpies 22-10 at Davies Park in an important result that seems them continue to build at the right time of the year.
The Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears have had a tough run with injuries through the middle period of the season and have been unable to post consecutive wins since winning three on the trot in Rounds 11-13.
Today, they backed up a solid win over Wynnum Manly in Round 21 with a hard-earned win over the Magpies in a slog-fest.
The Magpies, who are now out of finals contention, rolled up the sleeves and took it to the Bears, with Burleigh doing well to contain them to just 12 points.
Coach Jim Lenihan said he was happy with his side’s defensive effort and their ability to scramble, but was hoping to see them push their limits more in attack over the coming weeks.
“I think we were doing most things right, but we were just a little bit flat,” he said.
“I think we feel like we’re trying as hard as we can, but at different times I think we’re playing within ourselves a little bit and not red-lining our efforts as hard as we could.
“The competition is that tight, it doesn’t seem to matter who is playing who; anybody seems to be able to beat anybody at any time. (Souths) are a tough footy team that is hard to play against and they toughed it out with a fair few blokes injured.
“To not play that well and still get the win is a bonus and this one was really important.”
The Bears now move to 30 competition points, equal with second-placed Townsville and just one-point behind competition leaders the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Burleigh got on the board early when a Jamal Fogarty grubber kick found a chasing Toby McIntosh who grabbed the ball in one hand, quickly got it back inside to Hayden Schwass who went over to score the opener.
The Magpies hit back in the 15th minute when Sam Scarlett played short to a charging Daniel Tamou who ran a good line and strolled over untouched.
The boot of Fogarty produced more points for the Bears when he put a perfectly weighted kick inside onto the chest of Kurtis Rowe who scored under the posts.
Jai Whitbread crashed over shortly before halftime to give the Bears some breathing room at the break.
The Magpies, trailing by 12, refused to go away in the second half and came out fired up.
The forwards were rumbling, and the playmaking trio of Scarlett, Tanah Boyd and Manaia Cherrington looked dangerous.
Burleigh, however, held strong in defence and managed to score when Dylan Phythian stepped off his left foot close to the line.
At 22-6 the Bears looked home, but the Magpies kept coming. They found space on the right on several occasions but were finally rewarded in the 68th minute when Clayton Mack crashed over from close range.
The comeback wouldn’t progress any further, though, and the Bears held on for an important 22-12 victory.
The Bears now look ahead to Round 23 where they take on Townsville with the winner a chance of moving to the top of the ladder.
“Hopefully we can keep the band together as much as we can now and just keep building combinations and roll into a really tough game with Townsville,” Lenihan said.
The Magpies will face the Tigers at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park next Saturday in the Channel 9 TV game.
BURLEIGH BEARS 22 (Hayden Schwass, Kurtis Rowe, Jai Whitbread, Dylan Phythian tries; Jamal Fogarty 3 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 12 (Daniel Tamou, Clayton Mack tries; Tanah Boyd 2 goals) at Davies Park.
*Kevin Braysher is a QRL correspondent covering the Burleigh Bears