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Bears pip Leprechauns in southside extra time thriller

A Browns Plains Bears field goal in extra time rounded off what was a pulsating extra time finish against a gutsy Logan Brothers side in the Rugby League Brisbane Men’s Open 2 competition elimination final.

As part of a triple header day at the Logan Metro Sports Complex, Browns Plains survived a late rally by the Leprechauns, which sees the Bears face off against minor premiers Redlands on Saturday's all important semi-final clash.

The Bears wasted no time in stamping their authority in this game, crossing in the third minute of play, courtesy of the rampaging Eddie Hereme, who crashed his way over in the corner.

The variety of five-eighth Malo Sami’s kicks gave the Bears a new dimension in how to tire the Leprechauns forwards out and he did so by continually turning the Logan pack around with his pinpoint accuracy.

His superb kicking game was on song again when in the 25th minute, when he put Gary Huirua-Canterbury in beside the sticks with a clever grubber kick.

Logan, who were barely hanging on in the above average heat, started to find their mojo in the latter stages of the first half.

Superbly led by halfback Nutana Vercoe, the diminutive halfback grew any extra leg during the game, rallying his troops around the park.

Vercoe’s killer instinct ensured Logan would be next to score and they did so after a brilliant run by the talented halfback that saw him cut down inches from the line.

Quick thinking from dummy half saw the Leprechauns finally get on the scoreboard in the 30th minute.

But Bears man of the moment Sami chanced his arm on the last tackle, that saw the powerful kicker take four Leprechauns with him over the line to score beside the sticks and see the Bears go into the break leading 22-6.

A superb Leprechauns backline movement saw them first to score after the break, through exciting fullback Mikalec Young, who slid his way over the line.

The Leprechauns could not believe their luck when two minutes later, a mistake from the Bears gifted the Leprechauns Salafuaali Falelua-Malio the easiest of tries to peg the score back to 22-16.

However, Logan’s supporters could not hide their excitement when second rower Fabricius Sua levelled the score in the 56th minute spinning and twisting his way over the line.

But just as the Logan resurgence was in full effect, a Bears sneaky four pointer saw them hit the lead once again.

A late penalty goal for the Bears saw them stick their noses in front by a converted try, when they were gifted the easy shot at goal from ten meters out.

However, the Bears were caught napping when Logan’s flying winger Tevita Kotosaya scooped up a loose carry, scoring what was a game changing try in the corner.

At 28-28 at fulltime, the game was then sent into extra time.

Logan’s knock on from the kickoff saw the Bears in superb field position to seal victory.

They did so, when Cecil Smith thundered a 30m field goal straight between the posts to see the Bears sneak home in a thriller 29-28.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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