The ladder leading Burleigh Bears will make their final appearance of the Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade regular season against Ormeau this Sunday afternoon at Pizzey Park.
Burleigh, who have dropped just one game and led since the beginning of the season, have a bye in Round 21, making this weekend’s clash their last game of the regular season.
In addition to a final round bye, the Bears have already wrapped up the minor premiership and will get another bye, while the rest of the top five will fight it out in Week 1 of the finals.
It means that after Sunday’s clash with seventh-placed Ormeau the Bears will have a three-week break as they prepare for their grand final qualifier.
While the Bears have been the clear benchmark this season, a lengthy break leading into the most important game of the year is not something they would have asked for.
“It is a massive challenge,” Bears coach Matt Foster said. “Three weeks off before going into a final – we will be playing against a team that would have been playing consistent footy.
“When we have come off a break in the past, we have stumbled into the next game. We will really have to manage our preparation to be able to overcome this hurdle.”
Last week, the Bears made a huge statement by thrashing second-placed Southport 52-10, and while Foster was pleased with the performance, he warned against complacency and stressed they need to remain focused.
“We owe ourselves a good performance going into the big break,” Foster said.
“It is certainly nice to win games and play well, (but) I don’t think it will change anything for the finals.
"We need to be weary of sitting back and saying, ‘the job is finished.’ We need to understand where we are and not get too carried away.
“Each time we have played Ormeau, they have come to give it to us. They are always physical and have a lot of energy. I am expecting them to be firing; they will come to play.”
While the Bears are riding high and preparing for the finals, the Shearers will finish at the bottom of the ladder.
Coach Julius Kuresa said he was disappointed to be at the bottom of the ladder again; however, it has still been the club’s most competitive A Grade season in some time.
After consecutive winless seasons, the Shearers have broken through for two wins in 2019 and have been very competitive on many occasions, including their 24-16 Round 13 loss to Burleigh.
Coming off the bye they will throw everything they have at the Bears with nothing to lose as they look to continue to grow the senior club into the future.
“I think the bye has done us a bit of a good, it has given us time to get the niggles out of the way,” Kuresa said.
“We are under no illusion; it is going to be a tough game. We are going to go in and have a crack.
“We are working on a five-year plan. We have a strong group of 16s and 18s coming through, which is great for transitioning into a strong senior club (and) we will rise to the challenge of building a great senior club.”
The clash between Burleigh and Ormeau will be live streamed on the Rugby League Gold Coast Facebook page from 2pm this Sunday afternoon.
Also in Round 20, Runaway Bay take on Bilambil and Tugun host Southport. Currumbin has the bye.
* Main image courtesy of the Gold Coast Bulletin
Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade Round 20 team lists
Runaway Bay Seagulls v Bilambil Jets – Saturday, August 17 at Bycroft Oval - 4pm
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. Jordan Champion
Coach: Nick Gleeson
1. Carne Rhodes 2. Sam Plater 3. Hayden Tolland 4. Jamie Wulff 5. Luke Jaeger 6. Jayden Love 7. Ben Rigney 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
Burleigh Bears v Ormeau Shearers – Sunday, August 18 at Pizzey Park - 2pm
1. Tyronne Roberts Davis 2. Will Evans 3. Regan Muir Ogle 4. Josh Berkers 5. Reece Tapine 6. Dylan Kelly 7. Matt Egan 8. Josh Ailoamai 9. Jordon Scott 10. Ben Valeni 11. Brett Stratton 12. Api Noema 13. Reece Summer 14. Tyler Szepanowski 15. TBA 16. Luke Maiden 17. Darius Farmer
Coach: Matt Foster
1. Liam Hori-Clark 2. Jamian Iroa 3. Brogan Melrose 4. Shay Stevens 5. Lance Belford-Laulu 6. Grayson Te Kiri 7. Leighmon Hohaia Katene 8. Timothy Wolens 9. Caleb Pirini 10. Jesse Malcolm 11. Hirini Robin 12. Anthony Gray 13. Parahi Wilson 15. Dion Belford-Laulu 16. Regan Ropati 17. Lazeryth Sua 20. Te Rupe Douglas-Webb
Coach: Julius Kuresa
Tugun Seahawks v Southport Tigers – Sunday, August 18 at Boyd St - 2pm
1. Macauley Dawson 2. Troy Canning 3. Kurtis McDonald 4. Tim Cassidy 5. Sami Latu 6. Jacob Grant 7. Sam Meskell 8. Josh Harvey 9. Will Johnson 10. Jodan Aiono 11. Nick Harrold 12. Rory Lillis 13. Ethan Roberts 14. Paul Sheedy 15. Levi Norton 16. Rob Apanui 17. TBA
Coach: Clint Barends
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 18. Corey Walker
Coach: Steve Dowd
Bye – Currumbin
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