You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Saturday wrap: Burleigh minor premiers; Falcons, Pride sneak into finals

Burleigh Bears have jumped ahead of Souths Logan in the final round to claim the 2023 Hostplus Cup minor premiership.

The Bears celebrated the prestigious achievement after 20-12 win in Townsville, hearing after their post-game chat of Central Queensland Capras holding off pre-round leaders Souths Logan Magpies.

Burleigh coach Luke Burt said the minor premiership was huge for his players, staff and everyone at the club who had played a part in the success.

"It was really good mate. It's a credit to what the boys have done this year as a team and the way they've come together mate. It was a really good celebration after a really tough win against the Blackhawks," he said.

"We came off and we obviously did the team chat and sort of spoke about the game today and the effort of the game today and then we got an update from the CEO about the Capras winning and it was a good little celebration.

"It's hard work from everyone. We've got medical staff here that work around the clock to get boys on the field.

"We've got boys that have been playing busted this year and at this time of year I'm sure every other team in the comp does as well, so it's an incredible achievement."

The Bears were on song early against the Blackhawks, scoring tries through Creedence Toia and Sami Sauiluma in the opening 11 minutes for a 10-0 lead, before Tony Francis and Sauiluma again crossed to take them to an 18-0 half-time lead.

Townsville fought back early in the second half and put James Tamou over in one of his final games of rugby league, before a Jodeci Baker-Tiraha try gave the home side some hope.

But despite giving the Blackhawks their chances, Burleigh turned them back time after time in a defensive effort that had coach Burt smiling.

"The boys are working for the man inside and outside right across the park and they've got a really defence-focused attitude at the moment and it's important we don't lose it," he said.

"I know it's a cliche but it was a really good team effort defensively, and then to have the energy after defending our try line to turn around and go score tries off the back of it was really pleasing."

While the results went their way today, Burt paid special tribute to Souths Logan Magpies, who held the ladder lead for much of the year.

"I'd just like to give a wrap to Karmichael (Hunt) and what he's done at South Logan and how good they've been all year. It obviously came down to the last game, but they've been a fantastic team all year and they actually got the better of us this year, so a big congratulations to on their year too," he said.

Burleigh will play either the Capras - or Wynnum Manly Seagulls if they beat Brisbane Tigers - next week, while Souths Logan will host the Tigers regardless.

Meanwhile down south at Piggabeen, a clinical Sunshine Coast Falcons beat Tweed Seagulls 37-12 in a clash that turned out to be do-or-die for both teams.

It was always win-or-go-home for the Falcons and coach Brad Henderson could not have been happier with how it all clicked to give them at least one more game in 2023.

"I'm really stoked. I think 10 weeks ago we were really struggling and really inconsistent but we've got a similar team on the field now for the last two to three weeks, which has made a difference for us and we're getting a bit more consistency in the way we play," he said.

"I certainly don't think we're at our best yet, but it's nice to have one more week to see if we can give the competition a shake."

Henderson said familiarity between the playing group and being able to get the reps in together at training had done wonders and it showed on Saturday.

"I think we've all bought into what's at stake and the fact that we don't want the year to be over yet," Henderson said.

"These boys all get on like a house on fire. They love each other's company and they knew we were playing for one more week and I thought the effort was there particularly defensively against Tweed, who have got a lot of points to them.

"They're a great attacking team, so to shut them down to two tries and the way we scrambled and ran into our tackles was really pleasing."

Jack Gibbons scored three tries while Scott Galeano and Sua Faalogo both scored doubles in the match, which was sealed with a Ryan Papenhuyzen field goal.

Whether 'Paps' is there next week, Henderson said the group would take inspiration from his "tough" performance, getting through the game despite suffering a knock at training during the week.

The defeat put Tweed temporarily into eighth, but they were ultimately bundled out when Northern Pride escaped with a 28-26 win against Redcliffe Dolphins at Barlow Park later in the evening.

The Falcons will either play the Capras or Dolphins next week, while the Pride could square off with Wynnum Manly, or the Dolphins again, pending the Seagulls v Tigers result.

At Bishop Park it was an emotional and most importantly a winning farewell for wonderful Norths Devils servant Jack Ahearn.

The Devils got up 40-30 in an entertaining game against PNG Hunters, who did not make it easy.

Junior Rop scored in the second minute to stun the home crowd, but momentum constantly shifted and swayed and it was Norths up 20-14 at the break. 

The Hunters took a 30-26 lead midway through the second half, but the Devils found another gear for their inspirational leader Ahearn, who slotted a penalty goal in the dying seconds as he brought down the curtain on a stellar career.

Mackay Cutters ended their season with a win, scoring seven tries to three in a 38-18 romp over Western Clydesdales at BB Print Stadium.

Four tries - two apiece - were scored in the opening 13 minutes, including a double for Cutters winger Walter Lauenstein.

The home side dominated from that point to secure their third win of the season.

Central Queensland Capras put themselves in the frame for a top four finish with their 18-14 win over Souths Logan Magpies.

In a real arm-wrestle between two top quality sides, Tom Farr and Jesse Jennings scored doubles on opposing sides.

The second try from Jennings set up a grandstand finish in the final five minutes as Souths Logan hunted a minor premiership.

The Magpies threw absolutely everything at the Capras, but the home side held firm to lock themselves into at least one more game at Browne Park.

A desperate Northern Pride turned it on against Redcliffe Dolphins at Barlow Park on Saturday to keep their season alive.

Despite the finals-bound Dolphins bookending the first half with tries, it was all Pride as they marched to a 22-10 lead at half time, including a Daniel Woodhouse double.

A Matthew Egan try, which was converted, extended the margin to 18 shortly after the break and it became less and less comfortable as the Dolphins kept coming.

But it was too little, too late for Redcliffe's top four push as the Pride earned themselves a trip to Brisbane for an elimination final.

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.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners