Bears prove too strong for Cutters

The Burleigh Bears have shown just why they’re one of the top teams in the early stages of the 2019 Intrust Super Cup competition, downing Mackay Cutters at BB Print Stadium tonight.

For small periods of the contest, the Cutters showed they could match it with one of the premier sides of the competition, but it wouldn’t prove enough as the Bears roared to a comfortable 24-10 victory.

Bears captain Luke Page after the win.
Bears captain Luke Page after the win.

The Cutters were denied the opening try of the night when a chaser was ruled offside from a grubber kick to the in-goal.

The cruel blow was compounded when the Bears rolled downfield, forcing a repeat set from the hosts, before Jeff Lynch broke through a tackle with a powerful surge to the try-line to put the visitors on the board first.

Reuben Cotter would give the hosts a deserved reward after a resolute defensive display, catching the Bears napping on the last tackle as he darted from dummy half to score on the right flank.

However, the Bears landed a crucial blow on the stroke of halftime when a midfield grubber kick slipped past the Cutters defence and into the arms of a flying Jamal Fogarty, who would convert his own try to send the visitors into halftime leading 12-4.

The margin remained unchanged despite the Cutters crossing the try line for the third time in the game, a determined double movement robbing them of any early second half momentum.

The Bears rubbed salt in the wounds a short time later, extending their advantage further off the back of a spilled midfield bomb; NRL-regular Brenko Lee scooped up the loose ball and raced away to score.

Kurtis Rowe would be the benefactor of a friendly bounce off a kick into Cutters territory, to ice the game for the visitors; Cotter bagging his second try for the Cutters in the final minutes for mere consolation.

The 14-point loss shows the Cutters the work ahead of them as the season rolls on.

“I think that try on halftime was the real turning point tonight,” Cutters coach Steve Sheppard said.

“They won the short dropout then went down and scored; three tries off kicks and that was pretty much the ball game.

“There were some good efforts... our middle stood up really well, but we lost some key moments and we didn’t play smart tonight.

"I hear it all the time (from other coaches) about how good this team is on its day, but we need to work out why we’re not clicking and how to apply it better so we can get these results.”

Cutters next face the undefeated Sunshine Coast Falcons. 

Bears will take on PNG Hunters in Round 8.