Redcliffe Dolphins overtake Bears on Queensland Cup ladder after Burleigh’s loss to PNG Hunters
Burleigh surrendered the competition lead after going down to the Hunters 30-20 in Papua New Guinea yesterday.
The home side got off to the perfect start when winger Adex Wera scored in the opening minute.
The Bears clawed their way back to within striking distance courtesy of tries to Jamal Fogarty and Paterika Vaivai to enter the break trailing 14-10.
Despite Vaivai later crossing again for a rare double, the Hunters ran away with the match to extend their home winning streak to 26 matches.
With Redcliffe defeating Easts 28-22, the Dolphins (34 points) have leapfrogged the Bears (33) into the outright first, with PNG (32) and Townsville (31) close behind.
The Bears now have a timely bye – which could hand them back the lead should the Dolphins lose to Ipswich on Saturday – to regroup from consecutive losses.
The week off may also help injured prop Luke Page recover in time for their Round 24 fixture against the Tigers.
In Mackay, Tweed Heads fell to 13th on the ladder after a 30-10 loss to the last-placed Cutters.
Tweed five-eighth Sam Irwin opened the scoring but the Seagulls slowly lost their grip on the game from there.
“We started really well. We were probably on top for the first 15 to 20 minutes but we kind of didn’t make the most of it and they got back into the game,” co-captain Sam Meskell said.
Meskell declared the inexperienced side must learn to convert winnable situations into two competition points, something he hopes to see happen in their final home game of the year this Sunday against the Northern Pride.
The 24-year-old said they aimed to finish on a positive note and build momentum towards 2017.
“Everyone is pretty keen to redeem ourselves, so next year we’ll be keen to get ourselves at the top of the ladder and, hopefully, we can get a couple of wins in the last three games,” he said.
Meskell commended the efforts of debutants Jacob Garland and Sione Alofi but it was another rookie who stood out.
“Shawn Anderson got our players’ player for the night, so he went really well,” Meskell said.
“That’s probably his best game in (Queensland) Cup. He got a fair bit of time which was good. He played in the back row and also in the middle with Jackson Clarke getting injured (concussion) early.
Source: Gold Coast Bulletin