The Burleigh Bears have produced a dominant 42-6 display to defeat the Tweed Seagulls for the eighth time in a row.
The Bears have not lost to their local rivals since 2015 and flew out of the gates in the opening exchanges with a physical onslaught.
After some close calls in recent weeks, the Bears managed to keep up the intensity for 80 minutes for their fifth consecutive win and 12th in their last 13 games.
Sam Coster and Sami Sauiluma both scored doubles while Jacob Hind, Pat Politoni, Luke Page and Troy Leo all got on the scoreboard as well.
However, it was the Bears' defensive application, particularly early in the second half when Tweed had a mountain of possession, that pleased coach Jimmy Lenihan.
“It was a really important day for us,” Lenihan said.
“The last two games we probably limped through a little bit and probably lacked a little bit of effort, but today I thought we worked hard, and I think our defensive effort gave us a lot of opportunities.
“To Tweed’s credit, at halftime it was only 14-0 and we felt like we did a lot of work but it could have fallen apart pretty quickly, but then our defensive effort at the start of the second half to hold them out for five or six sets of six really put us in good stead.”
Match: Seagulls v Bears
Round 17 -
Venue: Piggabeen Sports Complex, Tweed Heads
Sustained early pressure led to the first points with Sauiluma charging onto a short ball and carrying his opposite man over for the try.
Sauiluma continued to impress against the Seagulls with a long line break on the following set. This eventually led to Hind muscling his way over for Burleigh’s second.
Coster continued his purple patch of form by hitting a Jamal Fogarty short ball and weaving his way to the try line in the 31st minute to give the Bears a good early lead.
The Seagulls managed to stay close enough at the break, and started the second half with a significant lift, recovering a short kick-off to put immediate pressure on the Bears.
A long period of possession followed which eventually culminated in Talor Walters crossing in the corner, but the video referee ruled there was an obstruction and the try was disallowed.
The Bears capitalised on that break and put the game away with three quick tries.
Dylan Phythian slipped a well-placed grubber kick into the in goal for Sauiluma to dive on and score his second in the 48th minute while Politoni kept the scoreboard ticking over by sneaking over from dummy half in the 54th.
On the following set a Fogarty chip kick sat up perfectly for a chasing Leo to score his 19th try of the season and take the Bears out to a 30-0 lead.
Fogarty’s boot led to more points ten minutes later with a grubber kick pounced on by Coster for his second try.
The Seagulls finally had something to cheer about in the 68th minute when Leilani Latu crashed over from close range, but the Bears responded with a Luke Page try in the dying stages to cap a dominant win.
Bears face Townsville Blackhawks in Ingham in Round 18.
Match: Blackhawks v Bears
Round 18 -
Venue: A.R. "Artie" Gofton Oval, Ingham, Ingham
Tweed take on the Central Queensland in Ilfracombe.
Match: Seagulls v Capras
Round 18 -
Venue: Wayne Taylor Oval, Ilfracombe, Ilfracombe