The Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears hit the road for Country Week when they take on the Townsville Blackhawks in Ingham this Sunday afternoon.
The annual QRL Country Round sees the Intrust Super Cup travel to all corners of the state and in 2019 Burleigh will travel over 1,500km to Ingham in North Queensland.
Awaiting them will be the Townsville Blackhawks who currently sit fourth on the competition ladder and are coming off a 60-6 win over the Northern Pride in Round 17.
Townsville are in fine form, winning their last five games and they are one of only two teams the Bears have not defeated this season.
In Round 4, the Blackhawks held on to defeat the Bears 16-10 after leading 16-0 at halftime.
Since that day, the Bears have been near unstoppable winning 12 of their next 13 games, including their last five.
Their most recent win was a 42-6 thrashing of Tweed Heads, the eighth consecutive win over the local rivals.
After two less than perfect wins against Ipswich and Souths Logan, the Bears produced one of their best displays of the season against Tweed that was built on a ferocious opening twenty minutes.
Skipper Luke Page led by example with an inspirational 175 running metres as the Bears forwards got on top early and never dropped their intensity for 80 minutes.
Sam Coster had another stand out game, with 132 running metres and two tries, while Sami Sauiluma was at his destructive best, running for 151 metres and scoring two tries at left centre.
Hooker Pat Politoni and Hastings Deering man of the match Jamal Fogarty took full advantage of the platform laid, combining for five try-assists and steering the team around the park expertly.
The challenge for Burleigh is now to back-up that performance with a similar standard after a long road trip against a top-level team like Townsville.
Brenko Lee and Sam Stone have been called into the Titans team meaning Tyronne Roberts-Davis returns to the side on the wing and Josh Ailaomai returns to the bench, while Api Noema will replace the suspended Dylan Phythian.
Burleigh’s exceptional for-and-against means they cannot drop any lower than second regardless of Sunday’s result, but a sixth consecutive win would keep them within reach of the first-placed Sunshine Coast Falcons.
The Burleigh Bears take on the Townsville Blackhawks this Sunday afternoon in Round 18 of the Intrust Super Cup at AR ‘Artie’ Gofton Oval, Ingham from 2pm.
Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears
1 Kurtis Rowe 2 Troy Leo 3 Sami Sauiluma 4 Jesse Arthars 5 Tyronne Roberts-Davis 6 Josh Rogers 7 Jamal Fogarty 8 Luke Page (c) 9 Pat Politoni 10 Jack Buchanan 11 Hayden Schwass 12 Jacob Hind 13 Sam Coster 14 Jeff lynch 15 Josh Ailaomai 16 Api Noema 17 Oliver Percy
Coach: Jimmy Lenihan d