A Kalifa Faifai Loa hat-trick and a Kevin Gordon double highlighted a string of impressive performances by Titan’s players in the Intrust Super Cup over the weekend.
The Seagulls were facing a 12-0 deficit after just 15 minutes as a committed Central Queensland side posted the opening two tries in quick succession. Tweed responded quickly with a high-leaping Kalifa Fai Fai Loa plucking a cross field kick from Titan’s teammate Jamal Fogarty to score his first try of the afternoon and ensure the game was evenly poised 18-16 at halftime.
The Seagulls came out strongly after half-time, with Titans pair Matt Srama and Jamal Fogarty controlling the game in the middle of the park while Davin Crampton made life difficult for any defender that came near him out wide. Tweed crossed for three tries in the second 40 minutes, two of which belonged to Kalifa Fai Fai Loa in a starring performance.
Fogarty said a strong defensive effort setup the Seagulls second half surge.
“In the second half we came out stronger and got our act together defensively, they only scored one late try in the second half and we started to get some momentum and managed to score a few tries in a row.
“Kalifa and Srama were our best players, Kalifa scored three and Sramy was causing havoc out of dummy half.”
Crampton was moved from centre to the left edge in the second half and caused constant trouble for the defence out.
The 32-24 win moves Tweed into the top six on the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
ANZAC Day at Pizzey Park didn’t go to plan for the Burleigh Bears, losing 38-32 in the last minute after an amazing second half comeback from the PNG Hunters in the Kokoda Cup.
The Bears looked in control of the game in front of a big home crowd leading the Hunters 30-10 shortly after half-time, but PNG clawed their way back into the game with Stargroth Amean the hero scoring with just seconds remaining.
Titan’s winger Kevin Gordon continued his run of good form, crossing over twice in the first half, while Brad Tighe also scored for Burleigh. David Hala put in another strong performance for the Bears.
The Hunter’s last try was controversial with Bears players complaining to the referee unsuccessfully that the player who played the ball moved to the right and obstructed the defence as the dummy half went over with just over a minute on the clock, to break the hearts of the Bears and the local crowd.
Bears coach Jim Lenihan said his side had to start closing games out if they want to challenge the top sides.
“We might have improved a little bit, but our level of maturity to finish off games is still struggling,” he said.
“We’ve just got to be better at finishing the game. We knew exactly how (PNG) were going to play and we stuck to what we needed to do for a lot of it, but we just had an inability to finish the game off when it really counted, then we lost control of it and then we couldn’t fight control back.”
Both feeder teams have the weekend off this week due to the representative games.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 32 (Kalifa Faifai Loa 3, James Wood, Ricardo Parata, Sam Meskell tries; Jamal Fogarty 4 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 24 (Dan Randall 2, Clinton Mooney, Gerard Tema tries; Ian Webster 4 goals) at Browne Park.
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Shaun Carney 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. James Wood (c) 4. Davin Crampton 5. Kalifa Faifai Loa 6. Ricardo Parata 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. William Bugden 9. Matt Srama 10. Oliver Percy 11. Jarrod Morfett 12. Dane Clarke 13. Sam Saville 14. Sam Meskell 15. Luke Dumas 16. Ethan Price 17. Hemi Mullen
PNG HUNTERS 38 (Israel Eliab 2, Stargroth Amean, Thompson Teteh, Adex Wera, Henry Noki, Willie Minoga tries; Noel Zeming 5 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 32 (Kevin Gordon 2, Brad Tighe, Tyler Chadburn, Josh Ailaomai tries; Tyler Chadburn 6 goals) at Pizzey Park.
Burleigh Bears: 1. Todd Seymour 2. Zach Mackay 3. Brad Tighe 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Kevin Gordon 6. Tyler Chadburn 7. Ryley Jacks 8. David Hala 9. Tyron Haynes 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Ayden Lee 12. Jason Chan 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Tom Rowles 16. Louis Fanene 17. Josh Ailaomai 20. Kyle McConnell