Written by Kevin Braysher
A DOMINANT second half wasn’t enough for the I Love Coffee Burleigh Bears as they went down to the Easts Tigers 30-14 at Pizzey Park.
After trailing 26-0 at halftime, the Bears dominated possession and field position to win the second stanza 14-4.
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Bears coach Jim Lenihan was pleased with the way his side responded in the second half, but lamented their poor start.
“We let it get away from us too much in the first half. Ill-discipline at the start of games is making us have to make defensive effort on top of defensive effort and it’s hurting us,” he said.
“We need to control our discipline and make sure we’re not giving sides extra sets and extra metres down the field.
“In the second half, we win 14-4 and they don’t look anywhere near as brilliant and sharp as they do in the first twenty.
“For us to be a side that can compete with those semi-finals sides we need to find that consistency and discipline that rewards your team with consistent ball.”
The Tigers got away to the dream start, with Cameron Munster, Jarrod McInally and Richie Kennar all scoring inside the first 16 minutes.
In the 27th minute Cody Walker scored on the short side while Cameron Munster’s second ensured the Tigers had a hefty lead at the break.
Easts picked up where they left off two minutes after the break with Kennar grabbing his second, but that would be the last time the Tigers scored for the afternoon.
A big run of possession followed for the Bears and eventually the breakthrough came when Tyler Chadburn and Henare Wells combined to put Dimitri Pelo in for Burleigh’s first try.
They got a second five minutes later when a Chadburn kick was spilled in the in goal and Corbin Kiernan pounced for the try.
A try on the fulltime siren to Henare Wells saw the final margin cut to 16.
Lenihan praised the efforts of hooker Nafe Seluini as his best along with Dimitri Pelo and Caleb Morehu who joined the team this week from the Titans NYC team.
He said there were plenty of good moments for his side, but they need to do it for 80 minutes, not 40.
“We’ve got some good signs and some good players; we just need to find a level of consistency to compete with the good sides. The good sides don’t give away cheap, easy ball,” he said.
Easts Tigers coach Craig Ingebrigtsen praised his team’s defensive effort in the second half under some extreme, sustained pressure.
“I’ll walk really happy and I’m proud of our defence. It was first class today,” he said. “That’s what our club is built on. It’s built on being brave, working for each other and turning up for each other.
“Burleigh were really good today. I think their position on the ladder belies their quality. We jumped them early and were able to play some good footy, but they’re a good, strong side.”
Tigers halfback Cody Walker picked up the XXXX Man of the Match award but it was his halves partner who won the most praise from the coach.
“Jacob Fauid was our best player,” Ingebrigtsen said. “I know they gave Cody Walker Man of the Match but Jacob was our best player by a mile. We know that. He’s the one who steers us around the park and he was outstanding today.”
Earlier in the day the Bears Colts returned to winning form with a 46-10 victory.