A flurry of late tries has seen the Burleigh Bears come from behind to defeat the Ipswich Jets 28-18 at North Ipswich Reserve.
The Bears trailed by eight points with 15-minutes to go, but they rallied to score three late tries en-route to their fourth win of the season.
It was a gutsy effort considering the Bears finished the game without Ryley Jacks (concussion) and Todd Seymour (knee) causing a backline reshuffle.
“To finish with 15-men and have both of the playmakers gone but still find a way to win, it was a good result for us really,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“It was a good team effort by all. Once again, we’re not wining pretty or doing anything particularly fancy, but we’re grinding out games and learning to be patient and winning over 80 minutes.”
It was a game of contrasting styles as Ipswich’s high-octane, attacking style met Burleigh’s defensive steel and strength in the middle third.
Ipswich’s unconventional attack paid dividends in the first half, as Marmin Barba bagged an entertaining double while Carlin Anderson also picked up a try.
Jason Chan scored early for Burleigh, but the Jets led 16-6 at the break and had momentum on their side.
However, it was Burleigh’s defensive style and power through the middle that ultimately won the battle on the day as the Bears held the Jets tryless in the second stanza.
Connor Broadhurst crossed for the Bears soon after the break before a barnstorming Mark Ioane try in the 64th minute really swung momentum in Burleigh’s favour.
Ioane was heavily involved in Burleigh’s next two tries as well as he used his size, power and skill to set up tries for Brad Tighe and Darren Griffith.
“Our forwards went really well. Josh Ailaomai, Mark Ioane and Pele Peletelese all kept us going forward and did really well for us,” Lenihan said.
“Ipswich play a bit side-to-side in attack and we were able to hold them out defensively. They didn’t really break our line to score points today, they scored twice from kicks and one intercept, so I’m very happy that we were able to show the discipline needed to keep them out.
“The fact that we had the discipline to hold out defensively for the whole game against a side like Ipswich who just relentlessly attack, hopefully shows that we’re improving more and more with our defence.”
Lenihan also praised the efforts of back-row pair Ayden Lee and Jason Chan. Both played 80-minutes and had high work-rates. Chan picked up XXXX man of the match honours.
The result sees Ipswich drop to fourth on the ladder, while Burleigh hold their spot in sixth.
Earlier in the days Burleigh’s Colts notched another massive win, this time 66-12 over the Jets.
The table leading Bears have dominated the competition so far and have amassed a staggering 360 points while conceding just 50 in seven rounds.
BURLEIGH BEARS 28 (Brad Tighe, Connor Broadhurst, Mark Ioane, Jason Chan, Darren Griffiths tries; Tyler Chadburn 4 goals) def IPSWICH JETS 18 (Marmin Barba 2, Carlin Anderson tries; Marmin Barba 2, Carlin Anderson goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Ipswich Jets: 1. Carlin Anderson 2. Marmin Barba 3. Chris Walker 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Brandon McGrady 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Josh Seage 9. Matt Parcell 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Troy O’Sullivan 15. Kurtis Lingwoodock 16. Billy McConnachie 17. Liam Capewell 18. Gerico Cecil
Burleigh Bears: 1. Tyler Chadburn 2. Zach Mackay 3. Brad Tighe 4. Connor Broadhurst 20. Siuatonga Likiliki 6. Todd Seymour 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mark Ioane 9. Christian Hazard 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Ayden Lee 12. Jason Chan 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Tom Rowles 16. Tyron Haynes 17. Josh Ailaomai 21. David Hala