Not only is Gold Coast supremacy on the line when Tweed Heads host Burleigh at Piggabeen at 3pm today in the Instrust Super Cup, but in the Titans camp so too is a good degree of bragging rights.
There will be nine Titans contracted players in today’s clash which will be lively and about passion as usual, and well worth the trip for Titans fans just across the border.
There has been plenty of banter among the boys, right up to when they left Cbus Super Stadium yesterday after the narrow loss to South Sydney, but that will end abruptly today when they arrive at Piggabeen.
The home side will have a big Titans feel in the backline with Leva Li and Davin Crampton in the centres, Kalifa Faifai Loa on the wing and Jamal Fogarty at halfback while the Bears, with Kevin Gordon and Brad Tighe brought into the Titans side yesterday to replace the injured David Mead and William Zillman, are down to three Titans in five-eighth Jamie Dowling and props Mark Ioane and David Hala.
Kiwis Ioane and Loa were throwing light-hearted jibes at each other at the stadium yesterday, but they both know what is at stake today.
“It’s an important game for both of us, with where we are on the ladder, but it’s also the local derby – and there is only one between us this year instead of the usual two – and we want to do well against each other as well as for our teams,” Ioane said.
“It's about the pride of the Gold Coast,” Bears skipper Darren Griffiths said.
“They are normally very tight tussles regardless of where either team sits on the ladder. There is always that bit extra in these games. It’s a lot more physical and fiery and I'm guessing this weekend will be no different.”
Burleigh have only won one of the past eight games between these two sides (there has also been one draw) and they haven’t won at Piggabeen since 2006. However, the Bears will be full of confidence following their gutsy 23-22 win over top-four side Mackay last weekend.
Coach Jim Lenihan has been made to shuffle his spine considerably, with regular back-rower Jamie Dowling transitioning to five-eighth for the second time while Todd Seymour looks set to play hooker in place of Ayden Lee. Gordon’s NRL recall means Jamie Anderson gets a start on the wing.
Meanwhile, Tweed Heads will be missing dummy-half Matt Srama who will be out for at least a month with an ankle problem and Jai Ingram who is still having trouble with a leg injury. However, Sam Meskell has been promoted to the run-on side with American international Mark Offerdahl returning to the team via bench.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Piggabeen Sports, today – 3pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: Tweed 12 Burleigh 11 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvBEARS