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Magpies and Bears fighting for top-of-the-pool honours

Souths Logan Magpies and Burleigh Bears will clash in Round 4 of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup, with both clubs looking to make their move and build momentum towards that much-coveted spot at the top of their pool.

Burleigh are coming off a loss to the undefeated local beach rivals Tweed Seagulls; the Bears had more ball than the Seagulls, but didn’t do enough with it.

The Bears lost 34-20 despite completing at 79 per cent; what the Bears did do was miss 49 tackles during the game. It could have been a different story if the Bears got that down.

Bears coach Michael Witt was confident things could be fixed in the Bears lair.

“I know our starts have to be better, letting Tweed score on their first set doesn’t help too much,” Witt said.

“Few little things we need to fix, but three tries in the first 18 minutes will always set you back and it was just too steep to climb back from there.

“We had two really good efforts, Delahia Wigmore was great for us and our front row and captain Kaden Sommerville played the whole 80 minutes.”

Wigmore clawed his way forward like a bear, with 183 metres of ground won for his team like his life depended on it.

Against Ipswich, Souths Logan came away with a win 26-24, but a lesson learned.

“The first group of games this season we have given up starts and had to claw our way back which we’ve done,” Vine said.

“We have focused on our starts against Ipswich, so the first five minutes was all about them not scoring and making sure we are starting games well.

“We did that and scored three times to be up 16-4 and even scored first in the second half. From there we didn’t touch the ball for seven minutes and Ipswich scored three times.

“I think we got a bit complacent and thought our job was done. 

“Ezra Mam has been great for us and super consistent, our hooker Tyree Bowman has been great and our front row Herman Tofaeeono.”

Tofaeeono made 135 metres for the Magpies in Round 3. 

The Townsville Blackhawks are coming off the bye while the Mackay Cutters played and beat Northern Pride nine tries to two.

One name that will be appearing on the Blackhawks white board will be Cutters No.4 Toby Strecker; the young man was stacking up tries on the weekend and made three line breaks. With 10 line breaks, the Cutters ran rampant.

Player to bank on - Toby Strecker

The Western Mustangs had a day out against the Sunshine Coast Falcons, at 20-6 ahead at half-time, the Mustangs didn’t look back.

With 58 per cent of the ball and in possession a full four minutes longer, the Mustangs made the Falcons pay.

The Wide Bay Bulls will be looking to improve their defence against the Mustangs - allowing 44 tackle breaks and 11 line breaks were a massive part of a hard day.

Brisbane Tigers had the ball last round, they just didn’t do a lot while they had it. With 51 per cent of the ball and completing 20 of 30 sets, the Tigers will be looking for more this week against the Redcliffe Dolphins.

The Tigers let Wynnum make too much ground and couldn’t hold the Seagulls.

The Dolphins will be keen to make sure teams don’t score in the second minute of games and the ninth for that matter too. In the end that’s what cost Redcliffe.

The poor start meant Norths were able to ride it home and a six-point win. Ezra Wainohu was great for the Dolphins with 126 metres and Braith Major was the officer-in-charge of defence with 27 tackles.

The Central Queensland Capras are on fire and doing everything right in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup... a 46-0 win doesn’t leave much to analyse.

Nearly 600 more metres than your opposition will always see you go a long way to winning; Elekana Suavai was great for Central Queensland with 138 metres.

In defence, Peyton Jenkins made 25 tackles of his team’s 200 total tackles.

The Falcons let the Western Mustangs get away to a great start, it was 20-6 at half-time and from there it was very hard. Sunshine Coast can take comfort in their fight back but with 42 per cent of the ball, things will always be difficult.

Harry Dwyer made 147 metres for the Falcons and a massive four line breaks to go with his three tries in a losing side.

Tweed Seagulls will play Ipswich Jets on Sunday, March 28, at North Ipswich Reserve at 1pm; this time and location changed from that scheduled originally.

Tweed Seagulls are flying high in the sky, still undefeated and defying normal football logic to do it. The Seagulls beat the Burleigh Bears 34-20 with only 47 per cent of the ball.

They made great use of what they did have, three tries in the first 18 minutes. 

Tweed are undefeated for a reason and that reason is they control games, up 28-4 against the Bears the Seagulls dominated. Keano Kini nearly ran back to the Coast from Ipswich with 198 metres.

The Jets had a poor start and lacked the attention to detail needed to beat Souths. A poor start and down 16-4 at half-time meant the Jets had to play catch up from there.

The Jets had a scoring run of tries from the 42nd minute until 59th minute, but they need to extend that out further to win games. Josiah Pahulu was excellent for the Jets making 128 metres and Damien Burrows made a line break.

Wynnum beat Brisbane Tigers 40-12 and did it on the back of a great start and four first half tries and a 22-4 lead.

The Seagulls made more metres than the Tigers and broke 49 tackles. Wynnum Manly’s kicking game was superior and drove the Tigers mad. John Radel made 130 metres of grind for his team.

Norths Devils somehow got a full meal out of scraps, beating the Dolphins 26-20 with only 46 per cent of the ball. The Devils held firm, only missing 33 tackles and got home by six points.

William Curran made a line break and Damon Coldwell made 133 metres for the Devils on the back of some excellent defence from Benjamin Te Kura with 28 tackles.

This week, the broadcast of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup returns, with Ipswich Jets hosting Tweed Seagulls.

Ipswich Jets v Tweed Seagulls