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Bears and Falcons primed for coastal battle

After a resounding win in week two of the Hastings Deering Colts finals series, the Burleigh Bears will host a well-rested Sunshine Coast Falcons at Pizzey Park on Sunday afternoon.

The went down to the Wynnum Manly Seagulls by five points in week one of the finals, but used their second chance at a grand final run brilliantly to overcome the Norths Devils 42-12 at home last weekend.

That win set up a thrilling battle against the Sunshine Coast Falcons, who’s surging Round 22 victory over the Bears saw Burleigh miss out on the minor premiership by points difference.

The Falcons earned their week off in week two thanks to a resounding win over minor premiers the Townsville Blackhawks 24-4 at Sunshine Coast Stadium a fortnight ago.

Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Sam Mawhinney said his side had used their extended break to freshen up and rest key players.

“We’ve got a fully fit squad for this weekend, everyone is training well, and we have really enjoyed the chance to rest some players and come into this weekend fresh,” Mawhinney said.

Tries to the Falcons in the final four minutes of the previous meeting between the sides were all that could separate the pair, with Falcons captain Jack Wright opening up spaces in the middle of the park.

Mawhinney said his team would be joined by a large contingent of supporters for this weekend’s games, who would be travelling with the side via bus.

“We are in a good place because the Intrust Super Cup side play just after us, so we’ll be bringing a bus from the club ground full of supporters who are ready to cheer us on,” Mawhinney said.

The home side Bears will also be joined by a large supporter contingent for the weekend, as four local Burleigh teams will be participating in finals over the weekend.

Burleigh’s road to the finals took a hit in week one, going down 24-19 to Wynnum Manly Seagulls before bouncing back at home last weekend to post 42 points at home.

Bears coach Jamie Mahon said his side were ready for the challenge, and the local support will be a major point of confidence for his young side.

“We have a big weekend here in Burleigh especially, there will be a big number of local fans to cheer us on and try to help get the boys over the line,” Mahon said.

The Bears led the pack for the majority of the 2019 Hastings Deering Colts season, ending the season with one defeat in their last seven games.

Mahon said his side’s attitude during the finals series has been a major confidence builder for the whole squad.

“We know the Falcons are a strong side and have the potential to cause havoc through the middle of the park with their hooker Tyson Smoothy,” Mahon said.

“The attitude during training has been terrific, the boys are hungry for success and are now in control of their own destiny.”