A string of late tries has helped the Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears run away with a 32-4 win over the Tweed Heads Seagulls at Pizzey Park on Sunday.
Scores were tight for the majority of the contest, with the Seagulls arguably controlling the vast majority of field position throughout the first hour of the contest.
An opportunistic try out of dummy half from Pat Politoni in the 61st minute proved to be the decisive blow, as the Bears would go on to score three tries in the final ten minutes and blow out the margin.
The late flurry of tries was reward for an excellent defensive effort as the Bears spent a large portion of the game turning the Seagulls away time and time again.
“I don’t think the score really reflected the game,” Bears coach Jimmy Lenihan said.
“It was a really tough, solid game from both sides, we just got a little bit lucky at the end with a couple of tries back-to-back, but I thought our effort in defence today was really good.
“I think sometimes defence is more effort than skill. They got really close a lot of times there, but we still seemed to be able to make an effort and get a body in front or stop them short.
“The amount of work we did on our line was a lot, but it was really pleasing and then we were able to get up the other end of the field and score a try.
“It was a really good effort; Tweed are going really well at the moment and they’re going to win a lot of games this year.”
Scoring got underway early for the Bears, with Jesse Arthars crossing for his fourth try of the season in just the seventh minute.
The game settled into an arm wrestle soon after, with both sides battling hard in the middle third of the field.
Despite having the better of field position, the Seagulls were unable to score any points in the first half, with Kurtis Rowe extending the lead to 10-0 just before the break.
Some nice lead up from Kurtis Dark led to Kirk Murphy scoring in the 49th minute in what looked like the try that would ignite the comeback.
But Burleigh were able to regroup and continue to turn up defensively in the final 30 minutes, refusing to let in any more points.
Politoni’s decisive try came in the 61st minute, when he spotted some tired defenders after an extremely slow play-the-ball close to the line.
The experienced dummy half saw half a chance and converted it to six points with a huge play.
From there, the Seagulls ran out of steam and the Bears racked up points through Matt Robinson and Sami Sauiluma on the left-hand side, before a Dylan Phythian intercept in the dying moments took the final score to 32-4.
Earlier in the day, Burleigh’s Colts notched a 32-12 win while the Mal Meninga Cup side went down 14-12. Next week the Bears travel to Townsville to take on the Blackhawks.