Finals have come early on the Gold Coast with the first placed Bears taking on the second placed Tigers Sunday afternoon.
The Round 19 QTOP A Grade match of the round features two sides who have set the standard in 2019 just three weeks out from the start of the semi-finals.
Southport have the longest active winning streak in the competition, with last weekend’s 72-6 win over Ormeau their fifth in succession.
Needing just one win from their last three games to wrap up second spot, the Tigers are building nicely towards the finals and will be hungry to make a statement against the Bears.
“It would be nice to get one on Burleigh,” Tigers coach Steve Dowd said.
“We set ourselves a goal to beat every side this season. We beat Bilambil, and we just have Burleigh left to go. The boys are looking forward to it.
“We have three more games to finish the fixtures and then the new comp (finals) starts. We are building towards the finals and planning a good show against Burleigh.”
The Bears are also in good touch, coming off a 48-0 thumping of Bilambil in Round 18.
That win was Burleigh’s 14th of the season and it gave them an unassailable lead at the top of the ladder.
With a bye in hand, the Bears lead the Tigers by five-points and even if they lost all three of their remaining games would still finish in first place.
While Burleigh have had an excellent season and have led from the very beginning, coach Matt Foster has respect for the Tigers and the excellent form they have displayed in recent weeks.
“Since we last played Southport, they have won five from five and scored 262 points,” Foster said.
"They have played everyone in the competition and are averaging 52 points a game - our average is 29 points.
“I am expecting a very physical game against a team that knows how to score tries. They are playing very confidently. This is a big challenge for us; this is the team to beat.
“We’re very proud that we can get the minor premiership, however it just gives us a starting point for finals – it doesn’t give us anything else.
“Southport have done well in being the quiet underdog when they should be one of the favourites.”
Southport against Burleigh is the match of the round and will be live-streamed on the Rugby League Gold Coast Facebook page from 2pm this Sunday.
Other Round 19 clashes include the Currumbin Eagles against Runaway Bay and Bilambil taking on Tugun. Ormeau has the bye.
* Main image courtesy of BNS Photography
Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade Round 19 team lists
Currumbin Eagles v Runaway Bay - Saturday August 10 at Galleon Way, 3pm
1. Bayley Gill 2. Bayley Desmond 3. Ben Willetts 4. Blake Morrison 5. Kurt Perry 6. Jake Gleeson 7. Phil Ramage 8. Stuart Mason 9. Kurtis Dark 10. Jarrod Gill 11. Mike Grey 12. Dan Webb 13. Harry Wecker 14. Liam Donnelly 15. Liam Thompson 16. Josh Campbell 17. Pale Peletelese
Coach: Ryan Gundry
Runaway Bay Seagulls
1. John Mackin 2. Jake Powell 3. Ben Fritz 4. Dylan Pelo 5. Daniel Kelly 6. James Poland 7. Steven Rooney 8. Doryaan Hape-Apiata 9. Jenan Wedderburn-Parrish 10. Kimihia Pakipaki-Hemopo 11. Steve Tolo 12. Taylor Daniels 13. Taniela Palavi 14. Jack Doran 15. Dimitri Pelo 16. Jordon Champion
Coach: Nick Gleeson
Southport Tigers v Burleigh Bears - Sunday August 11 at Owen Park, 2pm
1. Barry Rutley 2. Dexter Moroney 3. Tevita Folau 4. Lee Turner 5. Jack Conlan 6. Campbell Pirihi 7. Drumayne Dayberg-Muir 8. Simione Ata 9. Liam Hampson 10. Denzal Ngati 11. Tu Whakathi-Paikea 12. Jaleel Seve-Derbas 13. Jacob Pottinger 14. Zoram Watene 15. Dallas Donnelly 16. Lachlan Douglas 17. Carlo Alimboyong
Coach: Steve Dowd
1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Te McDonald 3. Regan Muir Ogle 4. Josh Berkers 5. Reece Tapine 6. Matt Egan 7. Connor Toia 8. Tyler Szepanowski 9. Jordan Scott 10. Dylan Kelly 11. Blake Leary 12. Api Noema 13. Matt Robinson 14. Ben Valeni 15. Brett Stratton 16. Tyler Sparkes 17. George House
Coach: Matt Forster
Bilambil Jets v Tugun Seahawks - Sunday August 11 at Bilambil Sports, 2pm
1. Carne Rhodes 2. Sam Plater 3. Hayden Tolland 4. Jamie Wulff 5. Luke Jaeger 6. Jayden Love 7. Tom Plater 8. Will McCullough 9. Tom Rowles 10. Mitch Spackman 11. Jack Rowles 12. Drew McCullough 13. Tom Raftery 14. PJ Tevaga 15. Tyson Donnelly 16. Brendon Welsh 17. Jai Hosking
Coach: Kevin Campion
1. Paul Sheedy 2. Macauley Dawson 3. Ethan Roberts 4. Tim Cassidy 5. Sami Latu 6. Jacob Grant 7. Sam Meskell 8. Josh Harvey 9. Will Johnson 10. Nick Harrold 11. Levi Norton 12. Jordan Aiono 13. Issac Worboys 14. Nick Foley 15. Rory Lillis 16. TBA 17. TBA
Coach: Clint Barends
Bye – Ormeau
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