Cameron CULLEN (Burleigh Bears) PHOTO: SMP IMAGES/ QRL MEDIA - Action from the Round 3 QRL Intrust Super Cup clash between the Burleigh Bears v Sunshine Coast Falcons played at Pizzy Park, Miami, Queensland.

Heartbreak for feeder teams

It was a weekend of heartbreak for the Aquis Titans two feeder teams with Tweed Seagulls going agonisingly close to pulling off a rare Intrust Super Cup victory by a Queensland team in PNG, and in-form hooker Matt Srama suffering a serious knee injury in Burleigh Bears’ loss to Sunshine Coast after leading handsomely.

Srama, who had been playing strongly since returning from shoulder surgery late last season, hurt his knee after coming off the bench in the Bears’ 36-14 loss to the Falcons at Pizzey Park – terrible luck for the popular Titan. He will undergo surgery in the next fortnight and will not play again this season.

The Bears led 14-0 before Sunshine Coast scored the next 36 points. Coach Jim Lenihan refused to blame injuries for the collapse but Srama going off, suffering the injury while back-tracking in defence with no hard impact, and prop David Hala also retiring with a shoulder injury and Jamie Dowling because of concussion, did not help. The Bears had only 14 players for most of the second half.

“We started out okay and then just dropped off a little bit in the second 20 minutes of the first half and then the second half we just didn’t get any opportunities at all,’’ Lenihan said.

“We had one or two which we squandered and then we really struggled to get a lot of ball at all in the second half. We didn’t give ourselves any real opportunity to compete well in the second half.”

The Seagulls looked like they would be only the second team in 21 games in PNG to fly out with two competition points when they led the Hunters 18-14 with five minutes remaining in front of 14,000 at the National Stadium in Port Moresby.

Then their hearts were broken. Atte Bina dummied and stepped and beat a tiring defence from short range to level the scores, leaving Hunters co-captain Noel Zeming with a wide conversion attempt. The ball hit one upright, then ricocheted off the other before going over to win the match.

“It was shattering. It was three tries all and that kick was the difference,’’ said coach Aaron Zimmerle. “We wanted to be one of the teams that can travel over to PNG and win that game,’’ Zimmerle said.

“It’s the equivalent of four competition points because no one else seems to be able to do it.

“The Pride’s done it and Easts have had a draw. They’ve won 19 out of 21 home games and with five minutes to go we were leading 18-14 and they were looking pretty nervous.’’

The Seagulls were the first team to cross the try line, through James Wood.

Pushed on by the vocal crowd, the Hunters responded by crossing for the next two tries in quick succession, with Watson Boas in the 26th and Edward Goma in the 31st giving the Hunters a healthy lead with half-time approaching.

Tweed Heads however simply won’t go away and had the final say in the first half with five-eighth Sam Irwin getting the ball over the line to keep his side in touch. The successful conversion from Nat Barnes saw the Hunters go into the break with a 14-10 lead.

It took midway through the second half for the next points to be scored and once again they came from the boot Barnes to inch the Seagulls closer to an upset.

They regained the lead with a try to Shannon Walker – who has scored at least once in each game this season – and another successful conversion saw scores pushed out to 18-14.

SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 36 (Tony Tumusa 3, Richard Kennar Faleao, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Ryley Jacks tries; Joe Stimson 5, Nafetalai Seluini goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 14 (Kurtis Rowe 2, Tyler Chadburn tries; Tyler Chadburn goal) at Pizzey Park.

 

PNG HUNTERS 20 (Watson Boas, Edward Goma, Atte Bina tries; Noel Zeming 3, Justin Olam goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 18 (James Wood, Samuel Irwin, Shannon Walker tries; Nathanael Barnes 3 goals) at National Football Stadium, Port Moresby.

 

BURLEIGH BEARS: Tyler Chadburn, Kurtis Rowe, Sami Sauiluma, Connor Broadhurst, Oliver Regan, Cameron Cullen, Jamal Fogarty, Luke Page, Pat Politoni, Paterika Vaivai, Jamie Dowling, Hayden Schwass, Lachlan Burr. Interchange: Matt Srama, Rhys Duke, Josh Ailaomai, David Hala.

TWEED SEAGULLS: Shannon Walker, Leva Li, James Wood, Shaun Carney, Nathaniel Barnes, Sam Irwin, Michael Burgess, Will Bugden, Kierran Moseley, Dane Clarke, Ryan Simpkins, Matt Robinson, Sam Saville. Interchange: Mitch Sharp, Sam Meskell, Cory Blair, Jackson Clarke.

 

Team

Played

Won

Draw

Lost

Bye

For

Agnst

Total

Townsville Blackhawks

3

3

0

0

0

94

60

6

PNG Hunters

3

3

0

0

0

80

46

6

Easts Tigers

3

2

0

1

0

74

56

4

CQ Capras

3

2

0

1

0

71

56

4

Burleigh Bears

3

2

0

1

0

94

84

4

Sunshine Coast Falcons

3

2

0

1

0

67

62

4

Norths Devils

3

2

0

1

0

84

82

4

Redcliffe Dolphins

3

1

0

2

0

72

48

2

Northern Pride

3

1

0

2

0

88

77

2

Ipswich Jets

3

1

0

2

0

70

77

2

Tweed Heads Seagulls

3

1

0

2

0

72

80

2

Souths Logan Magpies

3

1

0

2

0

68

100

2

Mackay Cutters

3

0

0

3

0

56

94

0

Wynnum Manly Seagulls

3

0

0

3

0

38

106

0

NEXT WEEK’S GAMES

Saturday 26 March

Burleigh Bears v Mackay Cutters at Pizzey Park 4:00pm

Townsville Blackhawks v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Jack Manski Oval 4:00pm

Easts Tigers v Norths Devils at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park 3:00pm

 

Sunday 27 March

 

Souths Logan Magpies v Ipswich Jets at Davies Park 12:40pm * (Channel 9 TV game)

Sunshine Coast Falcons v PNG Hunters at Sunshine Coast Stadium 2:00pm

Byes: Northern Pride, CQ Capras, Redcliffe Dolphins, Tweed Heads Seagulls