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Burleigh Bears not fully sick
Burleigh coach Rick Stone officially diagnosed his Bears as ?a bit sick? after the reigning premiers slumped to third place with a disappointing 22-18 loss to Wynnum in their final fixture.
Using the term sick in its traditional context, rather than that employed by Ian Thorpe, Stone had reason to feel off-colour after his side squandered an 18-4 halftime lead.
A win for Burleigh would have given it home ground advantage against Norths in next week?s qualifying final. Had the Young Guns not have won on Saturday, the Bears would have also been a chance of the minor premiership.
?We came out flat after halftime and just expected to win,? Stone (pictured) said.
?It?s a concern for us when there?s something to play for and we perform like that. We don?t have momentum, we look a bit sick defensively and we face the form team of the competition next week.?
Stone did however acknowledge that Wynnum had lifted behind the support of the famed Chook Pen, with veteran forwards Craig Greenhill, Clayton Maher and Danny McAllister all set for retirement.
McAllister was one of the best on ground in the spirited tussle, while Simon Phillips confirmed his status as the competition?s leading tryscorer with his 19th of the season.
The victory allowed the Seagulls to finish with equal wins and losses, while putting to bed a season that most at Kougari Oval would care to forget.
?Looking at their previous games, I thought Wynnum still had plenty to offer,? said Stone.
?They were as healthy and strong as they have been at any stage of this season and I made my players aware of that.
?What we lacked more than anything today was a dominant forward to take the game by the scruff of the neck.?
One of Burleigh?s best this season, prop Shane O?Flanagan, will be assessed for rib damage this week. Adrian Vowles is also on report for a high tackle on McAllister.
Meanwhile Bears fullback Reggie Cressbrook has taken the title as leading pointscorer for 2005 after amassing 206 points from 14 tries and 75 goals. Cressbrook would need 71 points in the finals series to equal Damien Richters career record of 1030.
Traditionally a strong finisher to the season, Burleigh will enter Sunday?s semi against Norths with just one win (by two points) in its last three appearances.
WYNNUM 22 (Simon Phillips, Herman Lafaele, Gareth Turton, Luke Smith tries; Damien Quinn 3 goals)
BURLEIGH 18 (Reggie Cressbrook 2, Trent Leis tries; Reggie Cressbrook 3 goals)
Special thanks to the QRL website for another fantastic article.