By Kevin Braysher Photo: Steven Gibson Photography
The Burleigh Bears came from behind yesterday to defeat Wynnum Manly Seagulls 25-24 at BMD Kougari Oval.
With less than half an hour remaining the Bears trailed 24-12, but rallied to draw level before Khan Ahwang slotted the match-winning field goal with just seconds remaining on the clock.
It was Burleigh’s third win on the trot and solidifies their return to form after a tough month prior to that.
“We’ve been bagged a fair bit, even by our own supporters at times, for how we’ve performed, but Burleigh is a bit of a rollercoaster,” Bears coach Jim Lenihan said.
“You’ve got to get on, sit on and hold on. We’ve done a good job today and I’m really, really proud of them.
“We say it all the time, but we have the ability to do that we just need to make sure we find the consistency in doing it. The biggest thing to focus on now is next week.”
Burleigh got away to the dream start when Mitch Sharp charged into a yawning gap in the 10thminute.
An Ahwang penalty goal in the 13th gave Burleigh a handy early lead, but Wynnum responded soon after and took control.
Tanu Wulf charged over between the sticks in the 20th minute while a John Te Reo try out of dummy half gave Wynnum the lead.
The home side had all the momentum at this point and Greg Eden took full advantage in the 32nd minute as he swooped on a Burleigh error and ran 90m to extend the lead to 18-8.
Wynnum were in a very good position at this point, but Ryley Jacks went down the short side in the dying stages of the half to score and cut the margin to just six at the break.
Dimitri Pelo looked to have come up with first points after the break when he forced an error, picked up the ball and touched down out wide, but the video ref ruled no try and a penalty was awarded to the Seagulls.
Wynnum capitalised with Eden powering over for his second from close range to extend the lead to two converted tries.
Burleigh refused to go away, however, and in the 60th minute a lovely short ball from Jacks put Ahang in space to once again cut the lead to six.
With five minutes remaining it was Jacks again who produced the big play, this time shrugging off several tackles on his way to scoring and levelling the scores.
The Bears were on the charge and had all the confidence going into the dying stages and it culminated with Ahwang’s field goal with just 45-seconds remaining.
With two tries and a try-assist, Jacks was a clear choice for man of the match, but it took a big effort from all 17 to claw back the deficit against Wynnum at home who were especially good through the middle.
“We knew what they were going to do. They bash and barge and come straight forward through the middle,” Jacks said.
“Everybody contributed really well to get the win today and we deserved it. We deserved that win today.
“It’s an important game because we’ve got Easts, Townsville and Redcliffe coming up, so our next month is important. We can mix it with the better sides, we’ve just got to believe it in ourselves and keep banking on that confidence to do well.”
BURLEIGH BEARS 25 (Ryley Jacks 2, Khan Ahwang, Mitch Sharp tries; Khan Ahwang 4 goals; Khan Ahwang field goal) def WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 24 (Greg Eden 2, John Te Reo, Tanu Wulf tries; Matthew Seamark 4 goals)at BMD Kougari Oval.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Daniel Ogden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Greg Eden 6. Patrick Templeman 7. Matthew Seamark 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Tim Natusch (c) 11. Aaron Rockley 12. Jon Grieve 13. Mitchell Frei 14. John Te Reo 15. David Stagg 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Stephen Coombe
Burleigh Bears: 19. Khan Ahwang 2. Jaiden Hawkes 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Dimitri Pelo 5. Connor Broadhurst 6. Connor Toia 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Tom Rowles 10. Josh Ailaomai 11. Tyron Haynes 12. Louie Fanene 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Marino Allen 15. Ayden Lee 20. Shaun Maloney 17. Pele Peletelese