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Burleigh Grins and Bears After Tough Win
THE Burleigh Bears are monitoring injuries to prop Ali Brown and winger Trent Purdon, following a passionate 24-7 win against Redcliffe at Pizzey Park on Saturday.
Both Brown and Purdon have hamstring woes and are uncertain propositions to face last-placed Wynnum Manly in Round 16.
The match is a must-win if Burleigh is to consolidate a spot in the top five, with a bye for Tweed Heads presenting a wonderful opportunity.
In a positive for the Bears, centres Chris Barnes and Jamie Russo are expected to play, despite also appearing to be hurt in the final stages of the clash versus the Dolphins.
Contestants in the last three grand finals, the Bears pushed their post-season claims with a whole-hearted display after trailing 7-6 at halftime.
Burleigh scored four tries to none in the second half to seal the result, although under-strength Redcliffe was far from disgraced in a tough and entertaining encounter.
Indeed, Redcliffe was without at least six top-line players due to representative commitments, injury and suspension, and spent much of the game defending in its own half.
The tide effectively turned Burleigh?s way three minutes after halftime when wingers Purdon and Alwyn Simpson contested a cross-field kick from Ryan Gundry.
Leaping, the pair collided, with the ball rebounding into the arms of the trailing Robert Apanui. Following a head clash in the first half with Dolphins forward Danny Green, Reggie Cressbrook missed the subsequent conversion , leaving the score 10-7.
Helping to fill the void left by Shane O?Flanagan (QLD Residents) and Brett O?Farrell (pneumonia), interchange forward James Griffiths then went on a one-man rampage for the Bears.
In the 54th minute he surged through the middle of the park, flicking off two defenders to score underneath the posts, extending Burleigh?s lead. On the resultant kick-off, he again broke the line with powerful leg drive.
Coming out of their own end and suffering an unfavourable string of penalties, Redcliffe had its own valued performers, with young winger Tim Yee highly impressive and Nick Walker strong up front.
The Dolphins competitive spirit was doused however, when Aseri Laing and Adam Hutchison crossed in quick succession with roughly 20 remaining minutes in the match.
Hutchison?s try was a stunner, coming after fill-in five-eighth Clay Harris showed nimble footwork to penetrate some stretched defence and then threaded a gap between defenders with a pin-point pass to his left.
The loss for Redcliffe means the Dolphins are now third on the ladder, trailing North Queensland and Toowoomba. Burleigh has won 16 of the last 25 games between the two heavyweight clubs.
BURLEIGH 24 (Adam Hutchison 2, Robert Apanui, James Griffiths, Aseri Laing tries; Reggie Cressbrook 2 goals) d REDCLIFFE 7 (Greg Bourke try; Gerard Parle goal; Gerard Parle field goal) at Pizzey Park.