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NORTHS DEVILS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Back-to-back thrashings of competition heavies Norths and Toowoomba have put Burleigh firmly on track for a premiership defence, although coach Rick Stone has urged his players to maintain perspective.
The Bears blew apart Saturday?s televised top-of-the-table clash against Norths, punishing the depleted Devils to the tune of 60-10. In their previous start against Brisbane Broncos feeder club Toowoomba, the seasiders were victorious 42-16.
Only twice in their previous 19 games have the Bears been defeated, with Stone somehow finding the key to staving of complacency. Compared to other clubs, Burleigh only has a smattering of individual stars, however week-to-week it is the most fearsome unit in the league.
?Attitude has a lot to do with things, as do the little goals we set ourselves along the way,? Stone says.
?We have a fair few senior players who I wouldn?t say have ?grown up?, but they have a great work ethic, dedication and concentration and the desire to do well.
?The consistency has been great this season. I hoped we?d carry some momentum from being premiers last season and that appears to be the case.?
In the same breath though, Stone notes it is not even the halfway point in the year:
?We?ll enjoy it for what it is, but there?s a long way from here to go. You have to keep it in perspective.?
Against Norths, Burleigh led 20-6 at halftime. The home side was admittedly hampered by representative commitments and injuries, but the replacements coming into the team were fair footballers themselves.
Burleigh pivot Adam Hayden (pictured) managed four tries for the match, while backrower Scott Cooke collected a rare double.
Stone was of the opinion that both Hayden and hooker Ryan Gundry were showing the best form of their careers, with prop Shane O?Flanagan also growing in stature.
Now clear in first place by three points, Burleigh suffered head wounds to halfback David Hicks and centre Balin Cupples. The pair are expected to be fit for next Saturday?s match against Easts at Pizzey Park.
BURLEIGH 60 (Adam Hayden 4, Simon Cooke 2, Trent Purdon, Trent Leis, Adrian Vowles, Ryan Gundry tries; Reggie Cressbrook 10 goals)
NORTHS 10 (Ryan Shortland, Sika Manu tries; Jeremiah Pai goal)
Special thanks to the guys at the QRL website for another fantastic article.
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