Coal Train, comebacks ... and injuries
The Aquis Gold Coast Titans had their best representation in the Intrust Super Cup feeder teams for some time and they played major roles in Tweed Heads and Burleigh Bears winning.
The Titans had 12 players in the two matches, however the weekend produced potentially two season-ending injuries with Anthony Don, back at Burleigh Bears for the first time since round one, dislocating his shoulder and Matt Srama suffering the same injury in his second game back from an ankle injury, with the Seagulls.
Both will have MRI scans in the next 24 hours to determine the extent of the injuries.
Brad Tighe, in his second game back from a shoulder injury, suffered low grade hamstring strain and it will be known midweek how long he will be sidelined.
Added to the concussion suffered by Kane Elgey, who will hopefully recover to play against the Eels next Monday night, and shoulder injuries to Ryan James and Nate Myles, who will also have MRI scans, and it was not a good weekend for injuries just as many on the casualty ward had returned to the field.
The good news out of the weekend was Dave Taylor’s contribution to the Seagulls’ 30-16 upset win against third placed Wynnum Manly in the battle of the ‘Gulls at Piggabeen after he had been demoted from the NRL side.
He played 80 minutes, scored two tries, one from a kick and regather, and after a slow start was a dominant figure and worried Wynnum every time he touched the ball. He played with energy and looked to be enjoying playing a full game and being involved in the action with a bit more “freedom” in his attack.
Kalifa Faifai Loa bravely returned from his father’s funeral in Samoa the day before and went straight from the airport to the ground and began in the back row. He has been an inspiration to teammates for most of the season with his consistent enthusiastic performances.
Another Titan, Jai Ingram, was also prominent, while Matt Robinson and Leva Li were also good contributors.
Tweed Heads coach Aaron Zimmerle drew inspiration from the Ipswich Jets’ open style after watching a tape of their victory over Wynnum Manly.
“Wynnum are a traditional footy side that utilise their big forwards and we wanted to play similar to the Jets, by running from side to side and making them chase us around; it’s tough to play against,” he said.
“Time of possession was the key. If we controlled that, then we were going to be a big chance to win the game.”
Tweed Heads had an big possession advantage in the first half with 22 sets compared to Wynnum Manly’s 14. They led 12-10 at half-time but ran away in the second half.
The Bears, fuelled by the inclusion of Titans Don, Tighe, Kierran Moseley who was returning from an ankle injury, Nathaniel Peteru, David Hala and Jamie Dowling, returned to winning form after four straight losses with an 18-14 victory over Souths Logan at Pizzey Park.
It was a courageous performance from the Bears who lost both Tighe and Don to injury while a number of others played on wounded.
“We knew it was never going to be an easy result and we’d have to earn a hard one, then to lose Brad Tighe in the opening minutes and then Anthony Don not long into the second half put us under a lot of interchange stress,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“We had a lot of tired blokes out there working hard and to come away with the win is very pleasing.
“I’m just happy for the boys. We’ve had a tough month and the young blokes stood up for us again and it was really good to see us tough it out.”
The Bears were behind 8-0 at half-time but tries to 18-year-old fullback Talor Walters, Dimitri Pelo and Josh Ailaomai in the first 15 minutes of the second half gave them an 18-8 lead.
A 75th minute try to Souths’ Scott Doyle ensured a nerve-wracking finish but the 15-man Bears held on.
Walters was named man-of-the-match in a second impressive display in only his second game in the Intrust Super Cup.
“He’s pretty natural out there, Talor. It doesn’t look like it’s his second game of Cup,” Lenihan said.
“I thought Sam Swift and Jenan Parrish played well too and that’s what we’re all about at the moment; giving the young blokes a go.”
Moseley was busy and the run will give him confidence as he bids to regain his NRL spot.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 30 (Dave Taylor 2, Ali Grant, Nathanael Barnes, Shaun Carney tries; Blake Anderson 4, Ali Grant goals) def WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 16 (Peter Gubb, Mitchell Buckett, Mitchell Lollback tries; Patrick Templeman 2 goals) at Piggabeen Sports.
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Ali Grant 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. James Wood (c) 4. Blake Anderson 5. Leva Li 6. Shaun Carney 7. Matt Srama 8. Will Bugden 9. Sam Meskell 10. Oliver Percy 11. Matt Robinson 12. Dave Taylor 19. Kalifa Faifai Loa. 14. Sam Foster 15. Sam Saville 16. Dane Clarke 17. Jai Ingram
BURLEIGH BEARS 18 (Talor Walters, Dimitri Pelo, Josh Ailaomai tries; Talor Walters 3 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 14 (Ihaka Watene, Scott Doyle tries; Scott Doyle 3 goals) at Pizzey Park.
Burleigh Bears: 1. Talor Walters 2. Anthony Don 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Tyron Haynes 5. Dimitri Pelo 6. Todd Seymour 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Kierran Moseley 21. David Hala 11. Nathaniel Peteru 12. Sam Swift 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Jenan Parrish 15. Louis Fanene 19. Brad Tighe 17. Josh Ailaomai