The effort by the Tweed Heads Seagulls to win, after a five-hour horror flight to Rockhampton and having the match postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon because of weather, was one of their better performances of the season and lifted them two spots on the competition ladder.

“When we got to Rockhampton we knew the conditions were going to be trying, it had rained all day Saturday and was still raining when we ran out on to the field,” Seagulls coach Aaron Zimmerle said. The team had to circle Rockhampton, return to Brisbane and stay on the plane for over an hour, before heading back to Rockhampton.

The Seagulls trailed 16-6 at half-time, but were able to keep the Capras scoreless in the second half and scored two tries to secure the two points.

“The top coaches will always say the first priority is to get your defence in order and everything else will come from there. This was exactly what we focused on today and what we will continue to focus on,” Zimmerle said after the match.

“In these sludge fest and muddy conditions it comes down to your halves. Do they have the ability to capitalise on the mistakes of the other team, fortunately ours did.

“Sam Irwin was vicious in his defence and also his attack. Sam kicked on the last tackle which our halfback Michael Burgess scored off and we got our first 6 points of the game.”

“Michael Burgess was perfect with the boot and his perfect goal kicking was what the game was decided on and based on the conditions he was kicking in; he did a great job.

“We have a young side and if we can string a few wins together at the end of the season we can be in a good position for the finals or it will be great for our team moving forward for next year.”

Bustling Burleigh Bears prop Luke Page scored a try with three minutes to spare to give his side a Blackhawks 26-20 victory over the Blackhawks in Townsville.

With the scores tied at 20-20 and with just three minutes left, the workhorse prop powered his way over the line to give the Bears their sixth win on the trot and their first win over the Blackhawks.

It was a good return to form from the Bears who faded badly in the last quarter of last week’s narrow win over Norths. Coach Jim Lenihan said the improved mental application was the most pleasing aspect of the win.

“After last week’s effort where we let ourselves down a little bit we certainly played more to our potential, for sure,” he said.

“Before the game we spoke about it needing to be an 80-minute performance. The outcome probably wasn’t all that important, but the way that we held ourselves and played to the final whistle was.

“It’s a really good result and it puts us in a good position but still, with a tough run home, we’ve just got to take every week as it comes.”

The win highlights the huge turnaround in fortunes at the club in 2016.

The last time Burleigh travelled to Townsville they were thrashed 78-6 and their 2015 season never recovered.

Twelve months later and not only have they beaten the Blackhawks on their home turf, they’ve won six in a row and lead the competition by three points.  

“It was a bit of a running joke this week that if we got away with less than 70 we had improved,” Lenihan said.

“It’s a credit to everyone at the club. We’ve certainly made some improvements and we’re playing a lot better but it’s still a long way to go and it’s up to us to go on with it and put ourselves in the best position possible when it comes to the end of the year.”

Conditions weren’t ideal which led to a battle through the middle.

Townsville got the better of the Bears early as they jumped to a 10-0 lead thanks to tries to Delouise Hoeter and Lorenzo Maafu.

The Bears stayed in touch, however, and a crucial try to Paterika Vaivai in the 36th minute gave them a sniff.

A Waka Wanahi try on the stroke of halftime saw them take an unlikely two-point lead into the break.

Burleigh’s momentum continued shortly after halftime as dummy-half Pat Politoni scored to take the lead out to a handy 18-10.

Townsville were not about to roll over, however, as a double to Moses Pangai saw them regain the lead with 15 minutes remaining.

A penalty goal from Jamal Fogarty in the 69th minute saw the Bears draw level once again, before Luke Page crossed for the match-winner three minutes from time.

Burleigh are now three points clear of second placed Redcliffe and, with another bye in hand, so are in an excellent position as the finals approach.

Townsville, meanwhile, hang on to fourth spot thanks to Souths Logan’s win over Easts Tigers.

For Seagulls match highlights – CLICK THIS LINK - http://bit.ly/29HKHpE

For Bears match highlights CLICK THIS LINK - http://bit.ly/2abHLWU

BURLEIGH BEARS 26 (Paterika Vaivai, Waka Wanahi, Pat Politoni, Luke Page tries; Jamal Fogarty 5 goals) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 20 (Moses Pangai 2, Delouise Hoeter, Lorenzo Ma’afu tries; Corey Jensen, Matt Bowen goals) at Jack Manski Oval.

 

TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 18 (Michael Burgess, Tevita Folau, Alex Grant tries; Michael Burgess 3 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 16 (Maipele Morseau, Charles Bouzinac, Justin Tavae tries; Charles Bouzinac 2 goals) at Browne Park.

 

 

Team

Played

Won

Draw

Lost

Bye

For

Agnst

Total

Burleigh Bears

18

14

1

3

1

536

386

31

Redcliffe Dolphins

17

12

0

5

2

454

271

28

PNG Hunters

17

11

0

6

2

385

309

26

Townsville Blackhawks

18

11

1

6

1

510

315

25

Easts Tigers

18

10

2

6

1

455

368

24

Ipswich Jets

18

9

0

9

1

434

413

20

Souths Logan Magpies

18

8

2

8

1

461

444

20

Wynnum Manly Seagulls

17

8

0

9

2

391

405

20

Sunshine Coast Falcons

18

8

1

9

1

339

358

19

Northern Pride

17

7

0

10

2

365

377

18

Tweed Heads Seagulls

17

6

0

11

2

315

498

16

Norths Devils

18

6

1

11

1

388

498

15

CQ Capras

18

6

1

11

1

376

534

15

Mackay Cutters

17

2

1

14

2

332

565

9

 

NEXT WEEK’S GAMES – COUNTRY WEEK

Saturday 23 July

Souths Logan Magpies v Norths Devils at Barcaldine Showgrounds 3:00pm

Burleigh Bears v Ipswich Jets at Charleville Showgrounds 3:00pm

Townsville Blackhawks v CQ Capras at Alec Inch Oval, Mount Isa 4:00pm

Mackay Cutters v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Darryl Bourke Oval, Moranbah 5:30pm

 

Sunday 24 July

Sunshine Coast Falcons v Tweed Heads Seagulls at Albert Park, Gympie 1:40pm (Channel 9)

Redcliffe Dolphins v Northern Pride at Ravenshoe 2:00pm

PNG Hunters v Easts Tigers at National Football Stadium, Port Moresby 3:05pm