Tweed Heads ran out comprehensive winners against local rivals Burleigh yesterday with an impressive 50-4 victory in the Intrust Super Cup’s Rivalry Round at Piggabeen. The win helped the Seagulls break a three-game losing streak and gain valuable momentum leading into the back half of the season.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, the two sides provided a typically physical encounter, with an undermanned Burleigh lining up an extra forward in a bid to out-muscle the smaller Tweed pack.
With six Titans players in their ranks, Tweed Heads were able to absorb the early pressure from the big Burleigh forwards and control the game from the start. Titans second-rower Matt Robinson said Tweed stuck to their game plan of using their speed out wide.
“It was a fiery and physical encounter at the start, they have a big forward pack and we knew they would come out strongly,” he said.
“But we knew if we could get through that period we could hurt them out on the edges when their big forwards got tired.
“We managed to execute our plan and hurt them with our speed and get points on the back of our momentum.”
With Mark Ioane and David Hala lining up for the Bears, bragging rights were up for grabs amongst the Titans players on show. Kalifa Faifai Loa was the most vocal of all, rubbing in the big win to Ioane and Hala and ensuring he wore his Tweed polo shirt to Titans training today.
Tweed Heads coach Aaron Zimmerle said it was good to see his team rewarded for effort after a difficult month of football.
“It’s not so much pressure that builds, it’s more your own expectations and asking ‘why aren’t we winning?’” he said.
“The score line today was more about once we broke the drought it became a flood.
“I think the thing that helps us in some ways is that they are the bigger side which allows them to physically bully, but the negative to that is they can come out of the line going for that shot and miss.
“We pinpointed a couple of players that were likely to come hunting our blokes and we tried to work them over and made sure we got at them multiple times back-to-back and if that happened then it turned out that we’d end up in front with a line break or a quick play-the-ball.
“You’ve just got to weather that opening onslaught and then if you can do that you’re okay.”
Titans’ trio Leva Li, Davin Crampton and Faifai Loa caused trouble for Burleigh out wide, benefitting from the Tweed Heads game plan of using the edges. Agnatius Paasi had an impact off the bench, while halfback Jamal Fogarty controlled the game for the Seagulls and was singled out by Tweed coach Zimmerle for his impressive effort.
Bears coach Jim Lenihan commended his side’s effort but said it was the execution that was letting them down.
“The difference between our best and our worst is a long way. We’ve got to be far more consistent,” he said.
“We probably lost the game within the first 15 minutes by just giving them too much possession. We’re a big side, but we can’t spend time defending all day. We can’t just keep giving them time with the ball.
“I think the penalty count was about 7-3 at halftime, we just can’t keep giving them fresh starts. We expose ourselves to poor performances when we’re continually giving them the ball to have a crack at us.
“We’ve got to get back on the horse, start training hard and just go through the parts of the game that we’ve got to understand. It’s not so much running in and bashing people, we’ve got to have a little bit more strategy and tactic around the way we control ourselves.
“When we make all the effort to do all the right little things and do a good job against Mackay one week and then come out here in a game which should have been a lot closer than it was today, we let ourselves down which is the most disappointing part.”
Tweed Heads take on the Northern Pride 5.30pm this Saturday at Barlow Park while the Bears host the CQ Capras 2pm at Pizzey Park.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 50 (Shaun Carney 2, Ricardo Parata 2, Blake Anderson 2, Nathanael Barnes, Davin Crampton, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Matt Robinson tries; Jamal Fogarty 3, Blake Anderson 2 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 4 (Khan Hawing try) at Piggabeen Sports.
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Shaun Carney 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. Leva Li 4. Davin Crampton 5. Kalifa Faifai Loa 6. Ricardo Parata 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Damian Sironen (c) 9. Sam Meskell 10. Will Bugden 11. Matt Robinson 12. Dane Clarke 13. Sam Saville 14. Blake Anderson 15. Mark Offerdahl 16. Agnatius Paasi 17. Oliver Percy
Burleigh Bears: 1. Tyler Chadburn 2. Khan Hawing 3. Jaiden Hawkes 4. Dimitri Pelo 5. Jamie Anderson 18. Mark Ioane 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Todd Seymour 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Ayden Lee 12. Louie Fanene 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Tom Rowles 16. Jason Chan 17. Josh Ailaomai 20. David Hala