GCRL- Bears take on Premiers

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.

Rivalry Round Preview

By Kevin Braysher

The Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears host their closest rival the Tweed Heads Seagulls at Pizzey Park this Sunday afternoon as part of the Intrust Super Cup’s Rivalry Round.

The local derby is often a physical encounter, and Burleigh’s new backrower Jacob Hind is looking forward to his first taste of the rivalry.

“It’ll be my first time in the grudge match between local rivals, but you don’t have to wait long when it’s Tweed week for the boys to start talking about what it means to them,” he said.

“Obviously there is history there and I’m sure it will be a tight game. They have a very good pack, all across the park they’re stacked with Titans players and quality players so for us, I think we’ve got to get out there, complete and do the little things right.”

Last year the Bears got the better of Tweed in both of their encounters; 32-12 in Round 3 and 34-16 in Round 16.

Confidence will be high in Bears camp on the back of a 42-8 victory over the Jets last weekend, while the Seagulls will be buoyed by back-to-back wins to start their own season.

Plenty of Bears starred in last week’s win; Dylan Phythian, Jesse Arthars and Anthony Don all earned nods in the QRL’s team of the week, while Jack Buchanan led the Burleigh pack with 143 running metres and 31 tackles.

Jai Whitbread was another standout, coming off the bench with 111 running metres, 2 line-breaks and a try.   

Anthony Don has earned a recall to the Gold Coast Titans starting side after his two-try performance, but his elevation has allowed for the return of Tyronne Roberts-Davis, who is making his first Intrust Super Cup appearance since suffering a season-ending injury last year.

The Bears are otherwise unchanged and will be looking to replicate the defensive and offensive efforts that were on display in last week’s big win.

Tweed Heads are unbeaten so far this year, with wins over PNG and Townsville to open their season.

Burleigh will take on the Tweed in Mal Meninga Cup at 10.45am, in Hastings Deering Colts at 12.15pm and in the Intrust Super Cup at 2pm. The Intrust Super Cup game will be broadcast live on BearsTV.

Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears

1 Kurtis Rowe 2 Troy Leo 3 Sami Sauiluma 4 Jesse Arthars 5 Tyronne Roberts-Davis 6 Dylan Phythian 7 Jamal Fogarty 8 Luke Page 9 Pat Politoni 10 Jack Buchanan 11 Hayden Schwass 12 Jacob Hind 13 Sam Coster 14 Morgan Boyle 15 Josh Ailaomai 16 Jai Whitbread 17 Jesse Savage

Coach: Jimmy Lenihan 

Bears gear up for battle of the Coast

The Essential Coffee Bureligh Bears have named their team for Sundays local derby v Tweed Seagulls. The only change to side that defeated Ipswich Jets is Titans winger Anthony Don who has been called into the Titans team. Tyrone Robert Davis will take Don’s place on the wing. 1.Kurtis Rowe 2. Troy Leo 3.Sami Sauiluma 4.Jesse Arthars 5. Tyrone Roberts Davis 6. Dylan Phythian 7.Jamal Fogarty 8. Luke Page 9. Pat Politoni 10 Jack Buchanon 11. Jacob Hind 12. Hayden Schwass 13. Sam Coster 14. Morgan Boyle 15. Josh Ailaomai 16.Jai Whitbread 17. Jesse Savage

Burleigh v Tweed

Sunday 24 March

MM Cup @ 10.45am

HD Colts @ 12.15pm

ISC @ 2.00pm

Bears start with win in GCRL

Story Courtesy of Gold Coast Bulletin

TUGUN coach Clint Barends has labelled Burleigh “the team to beat by far” in 2019 after the Bears overran them to join Southport and Runaway Bay as Round 1 Rugby League Gold Coast winners.

The Seahawks were up 16-12 at halftime having had the majority of possession and territory before the Bears scored 10 unanswered points to take victory.

“We had all the ball in the first half so we probably should have done a bit more with it and we didn’t but they defended terrific,” said Barends, who is allowing a month for his new-look squad to gel.

 “In the second half the rain started to come down and they just beat us through the middle.

“They were a little bit too fit for us and they took their chances a little bit more.”

Barends’ opposite number Matt Foster was delighted with his side’s defensive efforts led by hooker Hayden Hansen but called on his players to make their lives a little easier by improving on some “horrendous” ball control.

“We completed something like 40 per cent in the first half so that really put us under pressure and meant they attacked us in our 20 for large parts of the game,” Foster said.

“I was really proud of our defensive effort and our goal line defence particularly but we certainly have a lot of work to do to make sure we control games a bit better.”

In Reserve Grade Tugun defeatd Burleigh 24-20.

Bears remain undefeated

By Kevin Braysher

Both the Bears Mal Meninga Cup and Hastings Deering Colts sides remain undefeated after picking up wins against the Jets on Saturday.

The Meninga Cup side got things underway with a narrow 16-14 win. Both sides crossed for three tries, with the goal kicking of Ryan Garner enough to get the Bears home.

After coming back from a huge margin to secure a draw last week, coach Roy Leoni was impressed with the mental application on display in the tight win.

“The boys mentally were up for the challenge today and at 16-4 with ten minutes to go its never quite in the bag, as people would have seen. Two tries by them and it was down to the death,” he said.

“I give credit to the kids for being so young and they’ve never played against a team like that. To mentally stay in a game like that for 70 minutes is credit to them, so I take my hat off to them.”

While the 18s managed to hold on for a tight win, the Colts were never in doubt as they ran up a big score. They crossed for seven tries in what was eventually a 42-6 victory.

Kai O’Donnell scored a double while Jayden Campbell was perfect with the boot in difficult conditions.

Coach Jamie Mahon and his troops will now turn their attention to a big rivalry round clash with the Tweed Seagulls next week.

“I know Jamie Mahon will work hard with them during the week to get things a little bit better ahead of Tweed next week,” Leoni said.

“They’ll be happy with the win, they’ll take a lot of confidence out of it and they’ll move forward to next week.”

Hastings Deering Colts

Burleigh Bears 42 (Kai O’Donnell 2, Mikey Williams, Tyler Szepanowski, Shallin Fuller, Allan Lockwood, Jaxson Paulo tries Jayden Campbell 7 goals) def Ipswich Jets 6

Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup

Burleigh Bears 16 (Damon Somerville, William Evans, Tyler Mahon tries Ryan Garner 2 goals) def Ipswich Jets 14 f

Bears bring down Jets

Kevin Braysher

The Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears have continued their run against the Ipswich Jets with a 42-8 thumping at Pizzey Park on Saturday.

They have now won eight of their last nine clashes against the Jets, with the Bears running in eight tries in Saturday’s rout.

The big win was the icing on the cake for the Bears, who spent the day celebrating their 500-game milestone.

It was a jovial scene post-match as former players mixed with the existing group, something coach Jimmy Lenihan actively encourages.

“It’s always important to perform well and it’s always a good thing to have the old and the new mixing together so the players that are currently playing understand who it is they’re playing for and how important it is they play accordingly,” he said.

While the Bears shined in attack, it was a stellar defensive effort that laid the platform.

The Bears were patient in the face of the expansive Jets and held their line under pressure on numerous occasions, particularly early in both the first and second half.

“I think we really focused on their attacking ability,” Lenihan said of their preparation.

“They’re very dangerous with their kicking game and they’ve obviously got a crazy amount of offloads in them, so for us to keep them to one try today was really pleasing.”

Scoring got underway early on, when the Bears spread it wide to Sami Sauiluma on the left-hand side. The big centre was given too much room and he took advantage for the first try. 

Scores remained tight at 4-0 for most of the first half, before Burleigh’s big bench came on and caused havoc.

Josh Ailaomai crashed over from close range in the 28th minute, before Jai Whitbread sliced through shortly after.

The big man was cut down close to the line, but shortly after the space was created for Troy Leo who scored in the left corner.

Whitbread was rewarded for his earlier line break in the 39th minute when some nice footwork at the line saw him score under the posts as halftime sounded.

When Jesse Arthars crossed just two minutes after halftime the Bears were in a commanding position, before the Jets mounted a bit of a fightback.

They controlled field position for the following ten minutes, but only managed to come away with two-points from a penalty goal.

A Jamal Fogarty 40/20 in the 53rd minute was the killer blow as it led directly to Jesse Arthars’ second try, which snuffed out any hope of a comeback.

On the following short kick-off, Anthony Don plucked the ball from the air and raced 60 metres to put the game beyond doubt.

Don, who made his name scoring tries at the Bears before being signed by the Titans, showed the Pizzey Park faithful what they have been missing by scoring his second try off a Dylan Phythian kick five minutes later.

Julian Christian crossed for a consolation try in the 74th minute, but it did little to improve a one-sided scoreboard.

Bears captain Luke Page left the field with a head knock in the final minutes. Lenihan said he will be monitored in coming days.

Earlier in the day, the Bears picked up a 16-14 win in the Mal Meninga Cup as well as a 42-6 victory in the Hastings Deering Colts to complete a huge day at Pizzey Park.

Gold Coast Rugby League

The Gold Cost Rugby League Competition starts this weekend with Burleigh taking on arch rivals Tugun at Boyd St, Tugun on Sunday. A Grade kicks off at 2.00pm with Reserve Grade at 12.30pm. The U20 competition will kick next weekend.

Weekend Preview

The Essential Coffee Burleigh Bears have named an unchanged line-up to take on the Ipswich Jets in Round 2 of the Intrust Super Cup this Saturday. The Bears went down narrowly in Round 1 butshowed enough to make fans believe not too much needs to change in orderto snare their first win. “There was good and bad,” Bears five-eighth Dylan Phythian said of the Round 1 performance. “We were a bit patchy as Round 1 sort of is. We’ve got a lot to improve, but I think there are some good signs early which is a good thing.”Phythian, who joined the Bears mid-season in 2018, said that the Bears needed to not overplay their hand and get the little things right against the Jets. That opinion is sharedby his halves partner, Jamal Fogarty.“I think we just need to work on a few simple little things,” Fogartysaid. “Hopefully we can work on those things at training and lay the platform for the start of the season. “Last weekend wasn’t the best result for us, but the good thing is we’ve got this weekend to try and turn it around and work on those things and show each other that we want to work hard and get the result for each other.”They take on the Ipswich Jets, who suffered a 34-6 loss at the hands ofthe Townsville Blackhawks last weekend. Saturday’s Round 2 fixture with the Jets willalsobe a celebration for the Bears, who last weekend became just the seventh club to play 500 Intrust Super Cup games. “It’s a great achievement for the club and the past players, coaching staff and everyone who has been around the club,” Fogarty said. “As a player to be a part of it is something pretty special and I think some of the boys will be thriving on it. The Burleigh Bears club and its history has a special place in my heart.” In those 500 games, the Bears have racked up 281 wins, 19 draws and tasted defeat 200 times. Shane O’Flanagan is the most capped player, with 201 appearances. Reggie Cressbrook is the leading point scorer with 964 and current Bear Henare Wells holds the club record for tries in a single game, scoring 6 against the Sunshine Coast in 2014. The day will start off at 11am, with the Burleigh women’s team taking on Wests Panthers in a trial game, before Mal Meninga Cup at 12.45pm, Hastings Deering Colts at 2.15pm and the Intrust Super Cup game at 4pm. BearsTV will be livestreaming the Intrust Super Cup game.

Kevin Braysher