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Round 7 Saturday wrap: Bears claim Kokoda Cup

Burleigh Bears second rower Hayden Schwass scored the first try of the game in the first minute and the final try in the final minute during his side's Kokoda Cup win against PNG Hunters.

The Bears, donning an ANZAC jersey and up 24-4 at half-time, scored eight tries to the Hunters' five to secure the two points in Round 7 of Hostplus Cup. 

Bears captain Sam Coster said it was good to get the win in front of the big crowd - including Melbourne Storm weapon Xavier Coates - at UAA Park.

"It was good... we started well and then we sort of lost a bit of our concentration and our process of what we wanted to do... we gave them a bit of momentum and they're such a good momentum team, so if you give them some, they can score points really quick, and then we got it back a little bit and held on," Coster said.

Coster with the Kokoda Cup. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Coster with the Kokoda Cup. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

"The game had some good parts but there's still plenty to work on, but it was good to get the two points. 

"It's always good and a good honour (to play in the ANZAC jersey for the Kokoka Cup)... it's an honour to be able to have this game every year with PNG. Feel very privileged to play on such a great weekend."

Hunters hooker Judah Rimbu and Bears five-eighth Josh Rogers were awarded player of the match medals for their performances in the spirited game. 

Josh Rogers. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Josh Rogers. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

Coster said he thought everyone played well and played their role in the game.

"I think our two starting fronties in Matty Koellner and Bailey Butler really set the platform really well... and our two hookers Patty Politoni, the vet, he knows his role and he defends really well, and then when Cole Geyer gets on, he opens up the game for us.... I thought they were really good," Coster said.

"We've still got plenty to work on but there's something there... we've just got to keep working hard and find out where we can go this year."

Hunters coach Paul Aiton said it was really disappointing to lose such a special game.

"Biggest takeaway is that we weren't in it at the start at all," Aiton said.

"They're a great team... they played really fast, aggressive.... they played really tight and we were loose... I don't think we came to play mentally."

There were positive signs from the Hunters side, with several players capitalizing on errors with runaway trues. Aiton said the tries scored were lucky.

"Very lucky through Bears errors... they're a very good team and we just didn't come to play.... one or two did, but the rest didn't," Aiton said.

Aiton said moving forward he would be stressing the importance of mental preparation.

"Preparation is great... we're better looked after now than we ever have been, making sure everything is in place... you can do all that but if the players don't come mentally prepared to play.... I'll be focusing on that," Aiton said.

Aiton said it was always good to be involved in the Kokoda Cup against the Bears.

"Playing for the Kokoda Cup is always special.... would've loved to have taken the trophy back with us, but it stays here for another year... next year," Aiton said.

Elsewhere, Brayden McGrady scored five tries for Tweed Seagulls in their huge 50-12 win over Brisbane Tigers.

Norths Devils flyer Jordan Lipp continued his try-scoring form with two tries against Western Clydedales in his side's Round 7 win.

Souths Logan Magpies duo Kienan Tempest and Te McDonald both scored doubles in their side's win against Mackay Cutters.

And Zacariah Miles scored a double as the Sunshine Coast Falcons claimed the two points against Central Queensland Capras. 

Townsville Blackhawks and Redcliffe Dolphins will come together on Sunday in the final game of the round.

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