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Saturday wrap: Bears dominate to book spot in the big dance

Burleigh Bears came out firing in their clash with Wynnum Manly Seagulls and did not let up to book their spot in the Hostplus Cup grand final.

The Bears were last in the grand final in 2019, beating Wynnum Manly 28-10 in that game, and it's a game Bears skipper Sami Sauiluma remembers well. 

Sauiluma said he could not wait to run out at Kayo Stadium next weekend.

"I don't think you could ask for a better first and second half from our boys," Sauiluma said.

"Another GF. It's been a big week and we have another big week coming. Looking forward to it.

"As I'm getting older, I appreciate the moments a bit more. Appreciate being in the grand final... they don't come around too often.

"We've got a pretty young team... very similar to 2019 actually... I'm just so happy for our young boys, to taste that early in their careers."

Sauiluma said the aim against Wynnum Manly was to come out firing and really rip in, which the Bears did, starting with exciting young fullback Keano Kini showing plenty of pizzazz, scoring the first two tries of the game within the first 23 minutes. 

Keano Kini. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Keano Kini. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

"We spoke about it during the week, that Wynnum Manly start really well, so we just wanted to meet them with the same sort of intensity and the boys definitely did that," Sauiluma said.

"Very happy with that."

The Bears kept Wynnum Manly scoreless in the first half and continued their dominance into the second half, starting with a spectacular set which saw Guy Hamilton offload an impressive pass to Josh Patston to score.

"We had a bit of adversity throughout the week... we had a few boys sick, so just so proud of the boys, so proud of the year," Sauiluma said, adding along with hard work there was plenty of fun being had.

"We had a rough couple of games... a loss and a draw and we had a crisis meeting. From there, we spoke about getting back to enjoying our footy.

"I don't think we've lost a game since."

Sauiluma said there were plenty of standout performers for him, including Hastings Deering player of the match Pat Politoni, who was also in the team when the Bears won the grand final in 2019.

"The big standout was probably our fullback Kini... he's a freak. I said at the start of the year he was going to be one to look out for and what a season he's having... it's unreal," Sauiluma said. 

"Our right edge was good... Tony Francis and Kea Pere and big Ken Maumalo led well for us with his carries and of course, same old Patty Politoni and Sam Coster.

"We have all spoken about defence all year and today it showed with us only letting in eight points. 

"Bring on the grand final now... looking forward to it."


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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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