By Kevin Braysher
Having knocked over their arch rivals in Round 1, the Bears are preparing to take on the defending champions in Round 2 of the Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade competition.
The Bears faced a tough road trip to Tugun in the opening round but were good enough to walk away with a 22-16 win.
Coach Matt Foster said they made it difficult for themselves in the first half but found their groove in the second half.
“Tugun is always a tough game to go to whether it’s Round 1, Round 15 or whatever,” he said.
“We were very happy with how we defended. We thought our contact and our control in the ruck was really good, but really, we forced ourselves to defend a little bit too much.
“Our ball control was pretty terrible in the first half, but we managed to correct that in the second half and that ended up showing on the scoreboard.”
This week the Bears face the Runaway Bay Seagulls, who last season ended a 13-year drought by lifting the premiership trophy.
Foster said the Seagulls play tough and physical through the middle and are then steered around nicely by some smart playmakers who take advantage of that forward momentum.
Bay started their season with a 40-4 win over Ormeau and looked to have lost little of the spark that took them to the title last year, so Foster is looking for a big effort from his side.
“I certainly think we need to be better at ball security on our exit sets to hopefully turn some pressure on them instead of putting pressure on ourselves,” he said.
“I’d like to see a continuation on our defensive effort from Round 1. I was pretty pleased with that (last week), but defence wins games so we can’t slacken up on that.
“And then with the ball in hand I’d just love to see us relax and play the football that these players know they can play. I always put an emphasis on them having a go rather than being reserved, so I’d like to see them play some football.”
The Bears and Seagulls will clash at Pizzey Park throughout the day on Saturday, with the Under 20s kicking off at 1pm, the reserve grade at 2.30pm and A Grade at 4pm.