Burleigh took down a second top 6 side in as many weeks with a 28-22 defeat of the Townsville Blackhawks on Saturday evening on the Gold Coast.
The Bears have waited until too late to show their full strength, as their five wins in seven games has seen them become one of the competition’s form sides, but a slow start to the season of five straight losses has hurt them from playing finals. Whether it is coincidental, but the arrival of former headline act Jamal Fogarty has seen the turnaround in form, as has Pat Politoni and a reducing injury toll at the Titans.
The Bears were actually behind early and at half time as the first half saw two tries a piece and goal kicking was the difference. The second half belonged to the Bears who scored with regularity, and it was only two very late tries by the Blackhawks that the score line ended up as close as it did.
Townsville’s loss has opened the door for Ipswich to sneak into the top 6 and they will have to stop their two game losing streak to stop them missing out on the finals for the first time since joining the competition.
BURLEIGH BEARS 28
Tries: Troy Leo (15m), Jamal Fogarty (34m), Pat Politoni (46m), Connor Broadhurst (51m), Sami Sauiluma (67m), Connor Broadhurst (74m)
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 22
Tries: Blake Leary (3m), Anthony Mitchell (26m), Blake Leary (78m), Paul Byrnes (79m)
Goals: Carlin Anderson 3/4 Conv
Burleigh Bears are going well and if not for the poor start to the year would be in the hunt for a finals spot. As it stands they are right in the midfield, 6 points to 7th and last. They beat the second placed Sunshine Coast last weekend in St George and are eyeing off another big scalp this weekend on the Gold Coast.
A double for the Bears will be a great achievement, especially over Townsville who only a few years ago took a 78-6 win over the Bears. Although Burleigh can’t make the eight, there’s still plenty to play for, certainly in evidence of Jake Carl who last weekend managed four tries. Still the Bears have won 4 of their last 6, and with a better start would be within touching distance of the Top 6.
Townsville meanwhile let go of a golden chance to take advantage of the Falcons loss in the race for a top two spot after losing in a tight one to Ipswich. It was their first loss after an unbeaten run of 6 games. They will need to get back on track quickly as any more losses will invite a side like Ipswich to take their top 6 spot. Having their inspirational forward Dan Beasley back for a second week since injury will help.
One thing to the Blackhawks’ advantage is their away form in South East Queensland. Where their home form has been hot and cold in 2017, they have been super on the road, and very effective in SEQ. Their record is 4 wins and one loss in 2017, and the only blemish being against Redcliffe.
Previous 2017 Result – Townsville 18 Burleigh 20
1. Kurtis Rowe 2. Henare Wells 3. Sami Sauiluma 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Jake Carl 6. Dallas Wells 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Luke Page 9. Christopher Law 10. Matt White 12. Hayden Schwass 11. Jamie Dowling 13. Sam Coster 14. Daymeric Pelo 15. Ricardo Parata 16. Darren Griffiths 17. Dylan Kelly
Coach: Jim Lenihan
1. Carlin Anderson 2. Ty Carucci 3. Jordan Drew 4. Davin Crampton 5. Jonathon Reuben 14. Kierran Moseley 7. Kyle Laybutt 8. Francis Molo 9. Anthony Mitchell (c) 10. Sam Hoare 11. Blake Leary 12. Jordan Kenworthy 22. Oshae Tuiasau 15. Andrew Niemoeller 16. Sione Lousi 17. Daniel Beasley 19. Sam Foster
Coach: Kristian Woolf
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