A Grade Preview

Kevin Braysher

The Burleigh Bears and Tugun Seahawks will honour a beloved former player when they compete for the Chris Kitching memorial shield on Sunday at Pizzey Park.

Chris Kitching was an Intrust Super Cup player with the Burleigh Bears, playing every game of the 2014 season, as well being a standout in Tugun’s A Grade team for a number of years.

A Queensland Rangers representative prop forward, Chris also represented Gold Coast Vikings in Under 20s and at A Grade level as well as being a key member of Tugun’s 2013 premiership winning team.

Chris passed away in 2015 and the two clubs honour his memory in this annual fixture.

“There is definitely extra significance when you’re playing for a trophy that means something to both clubs,” Bears coach Matt Foster said.

“Chris was a part of both Burleigh and Tugun, and no doubt the Tugun club and Tugun players will be looking at this game as a way to honour his memory, and it will be exactly the same in our camp.

“We want to honour Chris by playing good quality, hard football, and make it a game for everyone to enjoy.”

The shield will be presented to the winning team at the conclusion of the game and many members of the Kitching family will be in attendance.

Burleigh and Tugun have already gone head-to-head this season, with the Bears claiming a tightly contested 22-16 win back in Round 1.

The Bears have gone from strength-to-strength ever since, winning six in a row to sit four-points clear at the top of the ladder.

This week they will be boosted by the return of Matt Egan from suspension as well as a handful of players who have been on Intrust Super Cup duties in recent weeks.

Tugun currently sits in fifth place on the ladder and come into this game on the back of a 40-22 loss to Southport last week.

Kick-off between the Bears and Seahawks is this Saturday afternoon at 2pm, with reserve grade kicking off at 12.30pm.

This will be Burleigh’s last game for three weeks, as they have the bye in Round 8 and the entire competition will break the following weekend. The Bears will return to action on May 26. ff

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