Bears show promise in local derby defeat

Saavanah Bourke

Despite another disappointing loss for the UAA Burleigh Bears, coach Rick Stone says there was ‘plenty to like’ in their 16-12 defeat against the Tweed Heads Seagulls on Saturday.

“To win games you need a combination of execution, commitment and composure, and that’s something we obviously didn’t bring quite enough of.”

Coming off the back of a huge loss a week prior, this week Stone was looking for a response from his team, something they did ‘in spades’ on Saturday afternoon at Piggabeen Sports Complex.

“The effort, desire and commitment from 1 to 17 was great, and a massive improvement on last week” he said.

Trailing the Seagulls 4 nil at half time, the Bears came out in the second half firing, scoring two tries within 10 minutes.

But the Seagulls fought back harder, scoring consecutive tries, seeing them snatch the two competition points.

“Some things we did in the final minutes didn’t help us,” Stone said.

“There was a couple of opportunities for us to take it, but we couldn’t quite manage it.”

While the Bears might have just missed the mark in their performance, Stone says it’s a step in the right direction.

“We’ve definitely taken a couple of steps forward. There was plenty of character and everything your looking for from your footy was there, the only thing we were missing was bit of polish.”

The Bears are currently idling at 12th on the ladder, but a cool and collected Stone said he’s not worried.

“If we turn up and give that type of effort and commitment for the full 80 minutes every week things will start happening for us.”

The Bears will be looking to secure their second win of the season against in this weekend’s Anzac Day clash at Pizzey Park against the PNG Hunters.

“Traditionally, that’s always a big game for us,” Stone said.

Having only lost one game this season, Stone said they’ll come with plenty of confidence.

“They’ll be ready for it, but we’ll be ready too.

“If we can fine tune our execution and combine that with what we did on the weekend against Tweed, we’ll take the two points.”

Meanwhile, the Bears women showed promise in the second round of the BHP premiership, finding victory against the Seagulls 34-10 and securing back-to-back wins.

“Having a tough hit out against the Seagulls was something we needed after coming off a big win last week,” coach Tahnee Norris said.

“It was good to make sure our defence was up to scratch and I’m pretty happy with how they played.”

For Norris, Bears forward Tazmin Gray was the standout.

“She really dominated the right side of the field,” Norris said.

“Taz always dominates defensively, but the way she carried the ball was outstanding for us.”

The Bears next test will be against the Central Queensland Capras at home on Sunday at 12.25pm.

Weekly Game Results

Fulltime Scores

Intrust Super Cup Tweed 16 def Burleigh 12

BHP women’s Burleigh 34 def Tweed 10

Hastings Deering Colts Tweed 32 def Burleigh 24

Austwide Mal Meninga Cup Burleigh 34 def Tweed 32


U20’s Burleigh 36 def Runaway Bay 16

Reserve Grade Runaway Bay 18 def Burleigh 14

A Grade Burleigh 36 def Runaway Bay 6

Bears strive for improvement in local derby clash

Saavanah Bourke

The UAA Burleigh Bears will have to ‘rise to the occasion’ if they have any chance of taking down a strong Tweed Heads Seagulls in this Saturday’s Rivalry Round.

Coming off last week’s 50 to 10 defeat, Bears coach Rick Stone said it’s not the most ideal preparation.

“I’m pretty embarrassed about the whole thing to be honest,” Stone said.

“It was a game where if anything was going to go wrong, it did.

“It’s about dusting ourselves off now and getting ready for an important game this week.”

The Seagulls are currently sitting 5th on the ladder, with several Titans players named to bolster their side.

“They have a really strong pack of forwards. That will be our first job to try and stop their momentum.”

That starts with young halfback Toby Sexton, and fullback Jayden Campbell.

“They have a lot of good players but those two have a big influence over what they do in attack.”

But if Stone is striving for anything this weekend, it’s improvement in his own team.

“A response from what we did and what we didn’t do in last weeks game is really important for us.

“I want to see genuine intent and desire out there on the field.

“Those boys have got a bit of a challenge in front of them. It’s not unusual to get challenged at this level but the bottom line is every individual has got to do their job.

Kick off is at 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon at Piggabeen Oval.

Hastings Deering Colts kick off at 1.30pm

BHP Premiership kick off at 12.00pm

Austwide Mal Meninga Cup kick off at 10.30am

Bears target ‘key play makers’ for Rivalry Round

Saavanah Bourke

Sunday’s 70 to nil victory over the Brisbane Tigers couldn’t of started the Bears BHP season better, but coach Tahnee Norris says their not banking on that performance to carry them through the season.

“We can’t just rest on what we did on the weekend,” Norris said.

“Even though the score line was blown out, they (Tigers) were missing some really key players.

“Hats off to them for putting in a full effort for the entire 80 minutes.”

Norris said much of the weekend’s success came down to the Bears minimal errors.

“They were able to hold the ball really well.

“I think that’s where we shined through in comparison to other BHP teams.”

It’s an area that’s been targeted during pre-season.

“Having the Under 19s to train against has been a massive positive.

“The girls are doing a lot of oppose sessions rather than just playing against each other.

“I think that has had a big impact on the team and their completion rate.”

Hat-tricks from Bears fullback Tamika Upton, centre Shellie Long and winger Karina Brown were the standout in their season opener.

So much so Upton was named Hastings Deering player of the match in her Burleigh Bears debut.

The former Central Queensland Capras player is settling into life on the Coast, contributing to her success on the field.

“Living on the Gold Coast is a good change for her,” Norris said.

“I love to see country kids coming through. Although I don’t like seeing them move away from their area, playing tough footy week in week out is really going to benefit her.”

But this weekend is a ‘different kettle of fish’ for the Bears, who come up against the Tweed Heads Seagulls in Rivalry Round.

“I really like the fact that Rivalry Round isn’t only for the men but the women too,” Norris said.

“Tweeds got some amazing players this year. Their captain Georgia Hall is a former Kiwi Fern and an in and out worker for the full 80 minutes, and Taryn Aiken is just a superstar, she could win a game all on her own.

“So it’s just about how we can match up against their big play makers,” she said.

Kick off is from Piggabeen Sports Complex at 12pm this Saturday.

Weekly Game Results

Intrust Super Cup:Tigers 50 def Burleigh 10

BHP women’s:Burleigh 70 def Tigers 0

Hastings Deering Colts: Burleigh 42 def Tigers 24

Cyril Connell Challenge:Bears 44 def Ipswich 24

Mal Meninga Cup:Burleigh 44 def Ipswich 36

U19 women’s: Burleigh 36 def Ipswich 6

West Panthers 20 def Burleigh 6


Reserve Grade:Burleigh 30 def Mudgeeraba 16

A Grade:Burleigh 62 def Mudgeeraba 4

“frustrating” circumstances prove too challenging for Bears

Saavanah Bourke

Sunday afternoon’s 50-10 loss against the Brisbane Tigers at Totally Workwear Stadium is one that will want to be quickly forgotten by the UAA Burleigh Bears.

It was a bad start for the Bears tallying 6 errors within the first half, giving the Tigers the opportunity to strike while their momentum was hot, leading 26 points to nil after the first 40 minutes.

An early injury from Bears centre Andre Niko and late inclusions from the Titans didn’t help their case, forcing multiple interchanges and reshuffling positions on the field.

Circumstances labeled ‘frustrating’ by Bears captain Luke Page.

“There was a couple of things that had us not as well prepared as we could of been,” Page said.

“It’s hard to form combinations when people drop in and out of the Titans.

“We had too many errors and penalties against us which snowballed our momentum,” he said.

The half time message from Bears coach Rick Stone to ‘play fast, flat football to stop the Tigers momentum’ failed to take action, as their point scoring blitz continued into the second half.

The Bears drought was finally broken at the 54 minute mark, when a cross field kick from Guy Hamilton saw Cory Denniss claim their first 4 points.

A collective sigh of relief from the Bears after Beau Fermor charged up field, setting up Cory Denniss for a double.

But that’s where points dried up for the Bears, and the Tigers class progressed, claiming their first victory of the season and a statement that they’ll be ones to watch in this year’s competition.

It was a 40 point victory that caught the Bears off guard, as the Tigers had conceded 70 points and only put 10 on the board within the first two rounds of the season.

Tigers hooker Aaron Booth said the difference in their performance today came down to stronger defence and completing sets.

“We didn’t start the year as well as we wanted to,” Booth said.

“We haven’t been holding the ball in the last couple of weeks and that was the biggest difference today,” he said.

The Bears will be looking for redemption as they return home next Saturday to take on the Tweed Heads Seagulls, while the Tigers will face the Jets in Ipswich.

Bears ready to rumble for BHP

Saavanah Bourke

The Bears are ‘chomping at the bit’ ahead of their BHP season opener against the Brisbane Tigers this weekend.

With Covid cancelling the competition last year, coach Tahnee Norris said it’s been a long time in the making.

“The girls can’t wait, they’re very keen and we are really looking forward to it,” Norris said.

It’s been a week full of wet weather training, conditions that only improve their game day preparation.

“The girls have really adapted to it and they just keep getting on with the job.”

This weekend will see the women’s Harvey Norman U19’s competition wrap up, with a few players expected to stay on and continue training alongside the Bears BHP side.

“We’ll have a few of those girls that will continue on training and really developing that pathway into BHP,” Norris said. 

“That’s the the whole point of keeping them on is to push them up into that top 17.

“There are some quality players coming through and I’ll give them every chance to try and get into that top side.”

But it won’t be easy, making the 17 is a competition within itself.

“It’s very competitive to just be able to play in our top 17.

“That is a really good sign for us and the girls are working hard to fight for their spots.”

Fullback Karina Brown and five-eight Lauren Brown are among those hard workers, alongside forward Millie Boyle.

Centre Shelly Long has also been a standout for Norris during pre-season.

“She’s been great. I’m expecting really big things from her this weekend.

“She’s coming back from a pretty significant injury and she’s really stood up in pre-season and I can’t wait to see her back out on the park.”

Chelsea Lenarduzzi is also coming back from injury and has been named in the reserves.

“We’ve been working her back into training after a minor knee injury so she should be ready to go.”

Kick off is at 12.15pm on Sunday from Brisbane’s Totally Workwear Stadium.