Burleigh Bears made it seven wins from nine as they continue to end their 2017 season in style with a win over the Mackay Cutters who were travelling almost as well heading into the weekend.
They went behind early to the first of Braden Uele’s first half double in the 9th minute, but responded through an unlikely source in PNG International prop Luke Page 5 minutes later. The lead changed a few more time in the first half, as Mackay scored again, then the Bears crossed twice more before half time to take a 16-12 lead into the break.
In a see sawing game the Cutters hit back jut after half time to draw level at 16-16, but the Bears had the final say with a try to Connor Broadhurst in the 53rd minute to boost his tally to 12 points for the afternoon, and Sami Sauiluma got the second of his two tries for the afternoon in the 64th minute to round out the scoring.
The 28-16 win made no difference to the Bears as they remain 10th, but closed in on 7th place, and are still a chance to nab the best of the rest tag for 7th. On current form, they have every chance.
BURLEIGH BEARS 28
Tries: Luke Page (14m), Sami Sauiluma (31m), Kurtis Rowe (38m), Connor Broadhurst (53m), Sami Sauiluma (64m)
Goals: Connor Broadhurst 4/5 Conv
MACKAY CUTTERS 16
Tries: Braden Uele (9m), Braden Uele (26m), Bennett Leslie (45m)
Goals: Jack Joass 2/3 Conv
The Intrust Super Cup Round 23 kicks off on the Gold Coast featuring two of the competition’s in form sides, but strangely neither will be playing finals football after leaving their run too late.
Burleigh, who went winless in five games to start the season, have now won six of the their last eight and includes wins over Top 6 sides Townsville and Sunshine Coast. Mackay have one less loss in that period with 5 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss in eight.
The Cutters have had an influence in the chase for the minor premiership over the past few rounds, drawing with the Hunters in Port Moresby and beating the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Mackay, both results have allowed Redcliffe, Easts, Souths Logan to close in. Their side has no big names, just a solid team unit that has found premium form just a game or so late.
Burleigh have some big names, returnee Jamal Fogarty being one the headlines, and is no coincidence that the Bears turnaround has coincided with his return. A great clash with no great consequence awaits.
1. Kurtis Rowe 2. Henare Wells 3. Sami Sauiluma 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Troy Leo 6. Dallas Wells 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Luke Page (c) 15. Christopher Law 10. Matt White 11. Jamie Dowling (c) 12. Hayden Schwass 13. Sam Coster 9. Ricardo Parata 14. Lorenzo Ma’afu 16. Darren Griffiths 17. Dylan Kelly
Coach: Jim Lenihan
1. Jack Joass 2. Yamba Bowie 3. Bennett Leslie 4. Nathan Saumalu 5. Johnny Faletagoa’i 6. Setaimata Sa 7. Cooper Bambling 8. Braden Uele 9. Aaron Booth 10. Nicholas Brown 11. Andrew Davey 12. Shane Wright 13. Isaac Richardson 14. Lona Kaifoto 15. Blake Atherton 16. Kouma Samson 17. Jack Blagbrough 18. Nicho Hynes
Coach: Steve Sheppard
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