A voluntary move to halfback from Titan hooker Matt Srama wasn’t enough to help Tweed Heads overcome a resilient Northern Pride yesterday, going down 24-12 at Piggabeen Sports.
With the Seagulls suffering injuries to their regular halfbacks, Srama approached coach Aaron Zimmerle during the week with the suggestion of moving into the number seven, the jersey worn by fellow Titan and natural hooker Karl Lawton in the previous game.
Having played all his junior football as a halfback, Srama only started playing hooker when he came into the Titans under-20s. Despite not playing for eight weeks, Srama said he felt comfortable in the role, with the young playmaker even crossing for a try in his return from injury.
“I put the idea to Zimmer (Aaron Zimmerle) and fortunately he went for it and I really enjoyed it,” said Srama who played the entire 80 minutes in his first game back from over two months out with an ankle injury.
“I felt comfortable in the role because I played so much there before I went to the Titans. I thought as a team we played pretty well and there were some good contributions from the Titans boys.”
With fellow Titans Ben Ridge, Matt White, Leva Li, Kalifa Faifai Loa and Jai Ingram, who was returning from an ankle injury, Srama said they put a real emphasis on being leaders within the Tweed Heads side.
“We talked about being the leaders of the team with so many of us there this week, we want the Seagulls to succeed, and I think we did. The Pride have been in good form the past couple of months and unfortunately were just a bit better on the day.”
Unfortunately for the Seagulls, the help of Srama and his Titans teammates wasn’t enough to get them over the line against an in-form Northern Pride who has kept themselves in the finals hunt.
Meanwhile at Stadium Mackay on Saturday night, the Burleigh Bears faced a rampant Mackay Cutters outfit desperate to keep themselves in the top six, with the local side cruising to a 46-4 victory.
It was a night the Bears would rather forget, the Cutters in front all night, with Burleigh often their own worst enemy with numerous penalties and unforced errors. The Gold Coast side had their share of possession but Mackay’s defence was resolute, holding the away side scoreless until the Bears made the most of a Cutter’s defensive lapse on the half-time siren, going into the break down 28-4.
Burleigh came out strongly after half-time, bringing greater intensity and improved ball security, the Bears looked to have scored early but the final pass was ruled to have travelled forwards by the referee. The Cutters capitalised on the disappointed Bears, quickly taking the lead out to 30 points. Despite the scoreline, Burleigh showed character, stoically defending their try line, only to concede a long range try soon after. Two more tries to the Cutters saw margin drift out to 42 points in another disappointing result for the Bears.
Titan centre Jamie Dowling was strong in defence, while David Hala was one of the Bears’ best in his third game back from a knee injury, throwing himself into NRL calculations for the Titans.
Burleigh host Souths Logan at Pizzey Park on Sunday while Tweed Heads will take on fellow Seagulls Wynnum Manly at Piggabeen Sports.
MACKAY CUTTERS 46 (Josh Chudleigh 2, Jordan Pereira, Ben Jones, Brenden Treston, Tyson Martin, Chris Gesch, Braden Uele tries; Liam Taylor 7 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 4 (Talor Walters try) at Stadium Mackay.
Burleigh Bears: 1. Talor Walters 2. Zac Mackay 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Tyron Haynes 5. Dimitri Pelo 6. Todd Seymour 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Tom Rowles 21. David Hala 11. Ayden Lee 12. Sam Swift 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Jenan Parrish-Wedderburn 15. Louie Fanene 16. Shaun Maloney 17. Caleb Morehu
NORTHERN PRIDE 24 (Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 2, Linc Port, Javid Bowen, Sam Obst tries; Justin Castellaro, Javid Bowen goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 12 (Blake Anderson, Matt Srama tries; Blake Anderson 2 goals) at Piggabeen Sports.
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Ali Grant 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. James Wood (c) 4. Kalifa Faifai-Loa 5. Leva Li 6. Shaun Carney 7. Matt Srama 8. Matt White 9. Sam Meskell 10. Oliver Percy 11. Matt Robinson 12. Blake Anderson 13. Sam Saville 14. Ricardo Parata 15. Dane Clarke 16. Ben Ridge 17. Jai Ingram