The impressive returns of playmakers Jamal Fogarty (Tweed Heads Seagulls) and Christian Hazard (Burleigh Bears) were the pleasing features of the Titans’ feeder teams’ efforts in the Intrust Super Cup over the weekend.
Fogarty helped Tweed Heads to a gripping win against Mackay at Piggabeen on Sunday, with the Seagulls mounting a late comeback to hold out the Cutters and scrape home 24-20. Hazard played good minutes with confidence in their 16-4 loss to Northern Pride in Cairns.
Despite missing the past six weeks with an ankle injury, Fogarty scored a try and consistently caused problems for the Mackay defence with his speed and skill. Back to full health, the young playmaker is intent on pressing his claims for a spot in the NRL and follow in the footsteps of former schoolmate Kane Elgey who he played Australian Schoolboys with in 2011.
"I'm just hoping for some consistent footy and to get back to where I was last year with my form,” he said after Tweed made it successive wins after upsetting Wynnum Manly the previous weekend.
Titans teammate Jai Ingram came off the bench with Fogarty and also had an impact, while Leva Li continued his strong second half to the season on the wing.
With finals out of reach, Tweed coach Aaron Zimmerle said he was looking for improvement from his side in the final rounds.
"We need to build a bond and style of football with four rounds to go so we can start next year positively," he said.
In the other game featuring Titans players, the Burleigh Bears went down to the Northern Pride 16-4 in Cairns.
Fielding a side with three Gold Coast players Hazard, Jamie Dowling, and Chad Redmond, the Bears couldn’t overcome a Pride outfit celebrating the 100th game of favourite son Hezron Murgha. The dynamic fullback proved a handful for the Bears in both attack and defence, making a crucial one on one tackle late in the game to prevent momentum-changing try.
Centre Dowling was strong in defence on his edge and combined well with winger Connor Broadhurst on numerous occasions. Young playmaker Hazard was good in one of his few Intrust Super Cup outing since the round three clash with Sunshine Coast, while hooker Redmond put his hand up for a recall to the NRL side with a solid display.
Burleigh host Wynnum Manly at Pizzey Park on Sunday while Tweed Heads have the difficult task of travelling to Townsville to take on the ladder-leading Blackhawks.
NORTHERN PRIDE 16 (Hezron Murgha, Linc Port, Brett Anderson tries; Justin Castellaro 2 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 4 (Talor Walters 2 goals) at Barlow Park.
BEARS: 1. Talor Walters 2. Connor Broadhurst 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Tyron Haynes 5. Dimitri Pelo 6. Christian Hazard 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Pele Peletelese 9. Chad Redmond 18. Waka Wanahi 11. Louie Fanene 12. Sam Swift 13. Darren Griffiths (c). Interchange: 14. Jamie Anderson 15. Ayden Lee 16. Mitch Sharp 17. Josh Ailaomai
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 24 (Nathanael Barnes 2, Blake Anderson, Jamal Fogarty, Jai Ingram tries; Jamal Fogarty 2 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 20 (Justin Tavae, Zack Walker, Liam Taylor, Josh Chudleigh tries; Liam Taylor 2 goals) at Piggabeen Sports.
SEAGULLS: 1. Ali Grant 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. James Wood (c) 4. Tim Cassidy 5. Leva Li 6. Shaun Carney 7. Sam Foster 8. Will Bugden 9. Sam Meskell 10. Oliver Percy 18. Ethan Price 12. Blake Anderson 13. Sam Saville. Interchange: 14. Ricardo Parata 15. Jamal Fogarty 16. Dane Clarke 17. Jai Ingram