Burleigh's dual premiership winners join elite group

Six Bears etched their names into history last Sunday, joining just three other club legends to win multiple Intrust Super Cup premierships with Burleigh.

Until last Sunday’s win over Wynnum Manly; Ali Brown, Shane O’Flanagan and Reggie Cressbrook were the only Bears to ever play in two grand final winning sides, however, that number jumped to nine after Burleigh’s 28-10 triumph at Dolphin Stadium. 

Duncan Hall Medallist Kurtis Rowe, Sami Sauiluma, Jamal Fogarty, captain Luke Page, Pat Politoni and Hayden Schwass were all members of the 2016 premiership winning team and were there again to lift the Cup at Dolphin Stadium on Sunday.

Jeff Lynch and Josh Ailaomai didn’t play on Sunday, but they contributed heavily to the team’s success throughout the year and are the other two remaining members of the 2016 squad.

They’ve all been at the club long term and four years later, seem readier to fully embrace when success comes their way.

Blake Leary too is a dual premiership winner, having been part of the Intrust Super Cup and NRL State Championship winning Northern Pride side in 2014.

“We’re an even tighter group now compared to 2016,” Rowe said of being part of an elite group.

“I just love playing with the likes of Jamal, Sami, Pagey, Patty Politoni – all those boys that have been here for the last four years. We’re just getting closer and closer each year.”

Page, who has been skipper since 2017, became the ninth Bear to play 100 Intrust Super Cup games for the club at the end of the 2018 season.

He’s the longest serving member of the ‘dual premiers’ club and believes that more success is on the horizon for his close-knit team.

“To be a premiership winning captain is just overwhelming,” the PNG representative said.

“I was brought to tears as soon as the buzzer went. I’m so proud of the boys. This is why we play rugby league.

“We’ve got a good core group of boys and we’re all signed for next year, so we’re going again baby!”

While six players are now two-time premiership winners, so too is their coach, Jimmy Lenihan.

Rick Stone coached the Bears to glory in 1999 and 2004, and Lenihan’s wins in 2016 and 2019 matches him as the club’s most successful coach.

“I never thought I’d ever get one. Once upon a time I never thought I’d ever even make the finals,” Lenihan said.

“But I’m so proud of the club. Everyone works so hard to make the club what it is. I couldn’t be prouder of the players; our coaching staff does such a great job and then our coaching staff through all the grades as well.

“We’re very proud of the people that we are and the reputation that we have carved out for ourselves.”