Both of the Titans feeder teams were beaten in the Intrust Super Cup on the weekend, with some poor discipline costing the Burleigh Bears and the Tweed Heads Seagulls falling away against Mackay Cutters after being restricted to 14 players for three-quarters of the game.
The Seagulls, who started the season with an impressive win against Redcliffe, were handed a tough assignment in the heat at Mackay when they were down three players after the first 20 minutes with injuries to five-eighth Tom (biceps), prop Jake Leary (shoulder) and interchange hooker, Zac Friend (shoulder) who were all unable to return to the field.
Winger Blake Henderson also suffered a suspected fractured hand but had to play on.
The Seagulls were behind 16-6 at half-time but fatigue was always going to be the enemy with three players down, and they did not hold possession well enough to stay in the game. The score below out to 34-6 before the Seagulls picked up two late tries.
Titans halfback Kane Elgey admits the side struggled with an undermanned pack and back-rower Sam Saville having to resort to five-eighth outside him.
“Obviously it was pretty tough being three men down after quarter of the game, so just one player on the bench,” said Elgey. “They started to power through the middle as we tried to just hang in there with three players down.
“We just didn’t complete our sets well enough to stay in the match but at least we came back with two tries near the end. It was tough but we’ll regroup next week and learn from the experience.”
Back-rower Jai Ingram was the best of the Titans in the Tweed side. The others were Leva Li and Davin Crampton.
The Bears went down to Norths Devils 20-12 at Bishop Park and also had three players off the field at different times – but it was self-inflicted because of sin-bins.
They had Siuatonga Likiliki, Connor Toia and Jared Teo all binned.
With Anthony Don called up late in the week to replace Kevin Gordon in the Titans line-up and Brad Tighe out with a rib injury, Christian Hazard was the sole Titan in the Bears side who were also missing three players who were under suspension.
Ball control at crucial times proved costly and three times the Bears made it to the try-line only for the ball to go loose.
“We created opportunities to win the game that’s for sure, we just lacked the finesse right at the death,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“We weren’t far off; we just need to take our opportunities when they come. They don’t come all the time. If you get half a chance you’ve got to take those half chances and we didn’t do that today, but our effort was a lot better and it was a far more pleasing game than what we produced last week.
“Our ball control was a lot better this week, too. It was just a matter of getting to the right kick at the end of the right sets. You can have a really good set with the ball, but if you don’t put the right kick on the end of it you don’t get the maximum value out of it; that’s something we were lacking in today.”
Titans under-20s player of last year, prop Mitch Sharp, had his first match for the Bears and was one of the team’s best. His NYC teammate of last season, Connor Broadhurst, also had his first start for the Bears in place of Tighe.
MACKAY CUTTERS 34 (Josh Chudleigh 2, Sam Clune, Zack Walker, Justin Tavae, Cameron Cullen, Tyson Martin tries; Rex Johnson 3 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 18 (Damian Sironen, Mark Offerdahl, Jai Ingram tries; Blake Anderson 3 goals) at Stadium Mackay.
NORTHS DEVILS 20 (Luke Pollock, Kainga Turner, Michael Lucas tries; Darren Nicholls 4 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 12 (Tyler Chadburn, Jason Chan tries; Tyler Chadburn 2 goals) at Bishop Park.