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Affiliate wrap: Kini's monster metres helps Burleigh down Tweed

Titans young gun Keano Kini has proven to interim head coach Jim Lenihan he doesn't have a shortage of depth options to call upon if needed for the Gold Coast to charge towards a final berth this season.

A distance-eating machine on Saturday afternoon at UAA Park, 19-year-old Kini amassed over 300 running metres, three line breaks, a try, try assist and seven tackle breaks to star in the Burleigh Bears' 36-22 win over the cross-town counterparts Tweed Seagulls in what proved to be a thrilling, high-scoring and emotional contest.

A visit from Titans top 30 player Kruise Leeming’s sister was a welcome surprise for the English rake who only found out about her arrival in the Tweed sheds pre-game. Leeming sliced through for a burrowing try close to the line to stem Burleigh’s opening unanswered three tries; including to Kini and contracted back-rower Jacob Alick.

It was a duel of the Titans fullbacks with Treymain Spry finding success closer to the ball at No. 1 for Tweed, filling in for regular backs Lindon McGrady and Jaylan De Groot who are both out injured.

Spry looked dangerous with the ball-in hand for the Seagulls and scored an epic try off a set play, which was created by a Toby Sexton inside cut-out pass close to the line.

But it was the teenage sensation Kini who stole the show with arguably his best performance in a Burleigh Bears jumper to date, proving a nightmare across the full 80 for Tweed who struggled to contain the speedster.

He would have been in for two tries of his own after breaking through from the 40-metre line with scintillating pace and deception in the second half, but Tom Weaver produced a cover tackle from the heavens which saved a certain try after the fullback was beaten all-ends up.

It was not a missed opportunity for Burleigh, however. The next play saw Titans development player Tony Francis put the bumpers up and crash through the Seagulls' edge defence to finish off Burleigh’s break and put them back in the lead.

Weaver, who was one of Tweed’s best - along with Toby Sexton - finished with a try and try assist of his own - getting Tweed back in the lead with four unanswered tries of their own after conceding three tries in the opening 12 minutes.

But Burleigh came back strong after Francis’ try won back momentum for the home-side, with two further tries extending the home side's lead beyond Tweed's grasp, sealing victory on their own soil to notch up their 11th win of the season.

Contrary to their earlier clash in the season, this week's battle was a high-scoring affair with tantalising tries scored and a healthy rivalry on-field between both sides that gave the Burleigh crowd a cracking spectacle of rugby league.

Next week, the Bears will remain at home and face Sunshine Coast; meanwhile, Tweed travel to Brisbane to face Norths.

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.