Kurtis Rowe proved the perfect replacement at fullback for Tyler Chadburn and picked up his ninth try of the season (the most in the Intrust Super Cup) as Burleigh Bears won the Kokoda Cup and proved themselves genuine premiership contenders yesterday.

With the in-form Chadburn, Cameron Cullen and Nathaniel Peteru missing, the I Luv Coffee Bears were still able to beat PNG Hunters 20-18 at Pizzey Park yesterday on Anzac Day.

The Aquis Titans’ other feeder team, Tweed Seagulls, also won to end their five-match losing streak with a hard-earned victory over Mackay Cutters.

It was a tremendous bounce back and confidence booster for the Bears who were poor in the loss to the Central Queensland Capras a week earlier.

“After last week’s game where we were pretty ordinary, we had a real focus on our defence and a bit of structure which was good for us this week,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.

“To be pretty good defensively against Hunters was a good sign. It was a good contest and a pretty entertaining game.

“We needed that for ourselves today more than anything. The result was important, but the performance was probably even more important.”

The Titans had three players in the Burleigh team in centre Nathan Davis, lock Lachlan Burr and forward Jeff Lynch of the bench.

In the past two games between the Bears and the Hunters at Pizzey Park, the Bears have shot out to a big lead only for the Hunters to come storming back into the contest in the second half.

It was the case again with the Bears took a 14-0 lead into the break, only for the Hunters to find form in the second half.

Rowe scored a 70m runaway try in the 10th minute for 6-0, followed by a Jamal Fogarty penalty goal before Lachlan Burr and Pat Politoni combined to give the Bears a handy lead.

However, the Hunters showed signs late in the first half that they were beginning to rally, and it took just moments after the break to open their account, with Oti Tony crossing in the corner.

Burleigh stayed composed, and after forcing yet another line dropout, they conjured up a try for Connor Broadhurst on the left wing soon after.

But the Hunter scored in the 60th and 75th minutes to set up a grandstand finish in front of the big crowd.

Next Sunday the Bears get a further test against the competition front-runners Townsville Blackhawks at Pizzey Park.

Tweed Seagulls had a 37-24 win against last-placed Mackay Cutters at Piggabeen with Titans Leva Li, John Olive, Matt Robinson and Karl Lawton in the team.

The Seagulls controlled possession far better than they had been and halfback Mitchell Burgess having a dominant impact with his smart play.

The Seagulls scored a couple of spectacular tries, involving Shannon Walker. The first came from a break from Blake Anderson who was supported by winger David Sheridan who then kicked the ball back infield for Walker to scoop up and score.

Out to an 18-6 lead, the Gulls were looking comfortable until the Cutters upped the pressure, scoring out wide via a swan-diving Jordan Pereira who made the good lead up work from John Asiata count.

The came another spectacular try. Walker fielded a kick and ran from inside the Seagulls’ in-goal to the halfway line before passing to Leva Li ran 50 metres to take the score to 24-12 at half-time.

Dane Clarke and Shaun Carney scored second-half tries to lead 34-12 before Brisbane Broncos player Josh Asiata scored two tries within three minutes to bring his side within 10. However, the Seagulls were able to hold out any further raids as the rain started to tumble down and Burgess slotted a penalty conversion and a last-minute field goal.

Lawton had his best game of the season, playing in the halves, in his third game after starting the season late because of a groin injury.

BURLEIGH BEARS 20 (Kurtis Rowe, Pat Politoni, Connor Broadhurst tries; Jamal Fogarty 4 goals) def PNG HUNTERS 18 (Oti Tony, Timothy Lomai, Justin Olam tries; Ase Boas 3 goals) at Pizzey Park.

TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 37 (Cory Blair, David Sheridan, Shannon Walker, Leva Li, Dane Clarke, Shaun Carney tries; Michael Burgess 6 goals; Michael Burgess field goal) def MACKAY CUTTERS 24 (John Asiata 2, Braden Uele, Jordan Pereira tries; Liam Taylor 4 goals) at Piggabeen Sports.

TEAMS:

BURLEIGH BEARS: Kurtis Rowe, Connor Broadhurst, Sami Sauiluma, Nathan Davis, Oliver Regan, Daniel Schwass, Jamal Fogarty, Luke Page, Pat Politoni, Paterika Vaivai, Louis Fanene, Hayden Schwass, Lachlan Burr. Interchange: Thomas Rowles, Jeff Lynch Josh Ailaomai, Jarrod Tua.

TWEED SEAGULLS: Shannon Walker, David Sheridan, Shaun Carney, John OIive, Leva Li, Sam Irwin, Mitchell Burgess, Will Bugden, Sam Meskell, Mitch Sharp, Matt Robinson, Cory Blair, Sam Saville. Interchange: Karl Lawton, Blake Anderson, Dane Clarke, Jarrod Morphett.

POINTS TABLE AFTER ROUND 8

 

Team

Played

Won

Draw

Lost

Bye

For

Agnst

Total

Townsville Blackhawks

8

7

0

1

0

262

112

14

Redcliffe Dolphins

7

5

0

2

1

180

118

12

Burleigh Bears

8

6

0

2

0

246

196

12

PNG Hunters

8

6

0

1

0

201

146

12

Northern Pride

7

4

0

3

1

205

143

10

CQ Capras

7

4

0

3

1

169

172

10

Easts Tigers

8

4

1

3

0

190

156

9

Norths Devils

7

3

1

3

1

158

176

9

Sunshine Coast Falcons

8

4

0

4

0

161

180

8

Ipswich Jets

8

3

0

5

0

176

197

6

Souths Logan Magpies

8

3

0

5

0

185

224

6

Tweed Heads Seagulls

7

2

0

5

1

127

222

6

Wynnum Manly Seagulls

7

1

0

6

1

116

229

4

Mackay Cutters

8

0

0

8

0

154

259

0

NEXT WEEK’S GAMES

Friday 29 April

Mackay Cutters v Ipswich Jets at BB Print Stadium Mackay 7:00pm

Sunday 1 May

Tweed Heads Seagulls v CQ Capras at Piggabeen Sports 1:00pm

Burleigh Bears v Townsville Blackhawks at Pizzey Park 1:40pm (Channel 9)

PNG Hunters v Redcliffe Dolphins at National Football Stadium, Port Moresby 3:00pm

Sunshine Coast Falcons v Norths Devils at Sunshine Coast Stadium 3:00pm

Northern Pride v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Barlow Park 3:00pm

Easts Tigers v Souths Logan Magpies at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park 3:00pm