Story by Kevin Braysher
A LAST minute try to front rower Bryce Thomas left the Burleigh Bears stunned and gave Tugun Seahawks a remarkable 16-14 win at Boyd Street on Sunday.
With two minutes left on the clock and the scores at 12-10, Burleigh received a penalty in front of the sticks and elected to take the two points.
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Tugun responded with a short kick-off, a regather, a line break to captain Daniel Webb and eventually a try to Thomas next to the posts with less than 30 seconds remaining.
After the game, Seahawks coach Selwyn Apanui was full of praise for his match-winning front rower.
“He’s a Tugun junior and that was probably one of his toughest games to date,” Apanui said.
“It was a wildly entertaining game of football that brought to an end Burleigh’s run of eight consecutive wins.
A Seahawks error in the 25th minute gifted Brad Smith Burleigh’s opening try while Francis Veukiso (who was Burleigh’s best on the day) put them in front when he charged over five minutes from the break.
Straight after the break the Seahawks cut the margin to just two when Buatava produced a perfectly placed chip kick for Cameron Moran.
From there, the game turned into an arm wrestle.
Tensions had been brewing for some time and they finally erupted in the 46th minute, with Burleigh’s Jesse Malcolm and Tugun’s Travis Berry both sent off for the ensuing brawl.
The Bears had plenty of chances to extend their lead in the second half, but poor handling squandered those opportunities to close out the game.
Eventually the Seahawks made them pay with Thomas’ last minute try giving Tugun some momentum heading into the finals.
Tugun’s win almost definitely assures them a vital top three finish while Burleigh’s loss sees them slip to second spot.
In other Coast-2-Coast Bycroft Cup results Southport moved to the top of the table with a 56-16 win over the Bilambil Jets, while Runaway Bay and Currumbin kept their semi-finals hopes alive with wins over Cudgen and Tweed Heads respectively.