Feeder teams beaten
Both the Aquis Titans feeder teams were beaten on the weekend, Tweed Seagulls narrowly and Burleigh Bears convincingly.
However the Bears stay in the top eight while the Seagulls will have to string a few wins together to have any hope of playing in the finals.
The Seagulls went down 24-22 to Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park while the inconsistent Bears were beaten 24-2 by Easts Tigers.
Skipper Damien Sironen was playing his last game for the Seagulls this season after suddenly being offered an NRL contract by Newcastle Knights. Sironen trained with the Titans in the off-season but failed to pick up a contract but his form excellent for the Seagulls and he was offered the opportunity by Knights coach and former Burleigh mentor Rick Stone.
He was inspired to lead from the front against the Magpies but his side just fell short after squandering too much possession.
The Seagulls preparations were thrown out a little with half Ricardo Parata ill and missing training during the week and then Matt White and Kalifa Faifai Loa being called into the Titans side to play Sydney Roosters.
Yet should have scored first but winger Leva Li dropped the ball as he went to force it over the line in the 10th minute. The Magpies crossed soon after and led 12-4 before Nathaniel Barnes made it 12-10 at half-time.
The Magpies went out to 18-10 but Oliver Percy scored in the 52nd minute and it was anyone’s game but Souths Logan took control with an edge in possession and went out to 24-16. Although the Seagulls scored last through Sean Kearney, the Magpies showed better control.
“We completed only five of 12 sets in the first half and I bombed a try, so we didn’t help ourselves,” said Li.
“It would have been good to send ‘Sirro’ [Sironen] out a winner as he has been in great form and a good leader but it didn’t work out that way.
“We just didn’t complete well enough. We were dangerous with the ball when we did keep it but we were defending too much.
“So it was a disappointing performance. Having a few guys missing training and then having ‘Fai’ and Whitey called up didn’t help but we should have been better.”
The Bears went down to a spirited Tigers at Langlands Park despite good performances from Josh Ailaomai, Louie Fanene, captain Darren Griffiths and centre Jamie Anderson.
Matt Duffie opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a spectacular try when he latched on to a Brentt Warr kick with fingertip control and grounded the ball. The pair are forming a potent partnership and are making a habit of combining for tries for the Tigers.
Big runs by Dean Britt and Liam McDonald ensured the Bears defence were working overtime in the first quarter of the game and Butterfield took advantage of that workload in the 21stminute when he caught the defence napping on the short side and dashed from dummy half for the try.
By the 30-minute mark, Easts were rolling like a well-oiled machine and Eddie Tautali was the next to score.
Shaun Nona is at his best when runs at the defence with the ball in two hands, he keeps the defence guessing and on this occasion they guessed wrong. Two defenders converged on Nona allowing him to put Tautali into a gap on his left and he strolled over untouched.
The Bears tried hard in the first half and finally got some reward when they were awarded a penalty in the 39th minute. Khan Ahwang slotted the goal to ensure his side would at least take something from the first half – but they were to be their only points of the day.
The Bears had their best chance to score in the 57th minute when Anderson broke down the carpark sideline for 10m and Conner Toia put Ailaomai into a gap and the rampaging prop got to within 15m of the Tigers line. The Bears then got a penalty and Griffiths almost turned provider when he put Ailaomai in to another gap. However this was not to be the Bears day and rather than Ailaomai strolling over untouched the pass just drifted forward the Bears were denied.
No one could question the effort of the Bears forwards however they came up against a rampaging Tigers defence. There were several sets, particularly in the second half, where the Tigers turned defence into attack.
EASTS TIGERS 24 (Eddie Tautali 2, Tommy Butterfield 2, Matt Duffie tries; Shaun Nona 2 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 2 (Khan Ahwang goal) at Tapout Energy Stadium, Langlands Park, Stones Corner.
Easts Tigers: 1. Mahe Fonua 2. Maeli Seve 3. Eddie Tautali 4. Michael Kai 5. Matt Duffie 6. Shaun Nona 19. Brentt Warr 8. Christian Welch 9. Tommy Butterfield 10. Liam McDonald 11. Dane Hogan 12. Jake Foster 13. Troy Giess 14. Francis Tualau 15. Matthew Zgrajewski 16. Dean Britt 18. Mat Pitman
Burleigh Bears: 1. Khan Ahwang 2. Corbin Kiernan 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Jamie Anderson 5. Connor Broadhurst 6. Conner Toia 7. Ryley Jacks 20. Mitch Sharp 9. Tom Rowles 10. Josh Ailaomai 11. Tyron Haynes 12. Louie Fanene 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Marino Allen 15. Ayden Lee 16. Shaun Maloney 17. Caleb Morehu
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 24 (Dallas Anderson, Hansell Semau, Andrew Edwards, Joe Boyce tries; Scott Doyle 4 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 22 (Nathanael Barnes, Blake Anderson, Shaun Carney, Oliver Percy tries; Ali Grant 3 goals) at Davies Park.