Cutters shocked by resurgent Bears

ROUND 12 – MATCH REPORT Sat 27 May 2017
THE Burleigh Bears have produced one of the finest second half performances in the club’s history to seal a stunning come-from-behind victory over the QCCS Mackay Cutters at BB Print Stadium. Mackay looked to have the game wrapped up by halftime before a spectacular turn of momentum saw Burleigh overwhelm the hosts and take out a 34-28 victory.
The hosts got onto the front foot early as a Nico Hynes grubber kick was grounded by Mackay Captain Andrew Davey, before denying the Bears an equaliser a short time later as Jack Joass’ splendid cover tackle forced the ball carrier into touch.
Nathan Saumalu found himself heading for the sin bin as tempers flared between the teams, but despite being shorthanded the Cutters still managed to extend their lead as a Yambaa Bowie grubber kick was pounced on by Hynes.
Henare Wells illegally denied Mackay another try, and found himself headed to the sin bin for a professional foul as a penalty goal extended the Cutters lead to 14, before Aaron Booth crossed for Mackay’s third try as he grounded a loose ball in the Burleigh in goal.
The Bears cracked the Cutters defensive line at the latest possible opportunity, Paterika Vaivai crashing over from close range on the stroke of halftime to give the visitors a glimmer of hope as they headed to the sheds.
Mackay started the second half in style, Cooper Bambling scooping up a wayward Bears pass and racing clear, before working the ball through the hands out for Saumalu to finish off a length of the field team try.
Burleigh would soon turn the game on its head as a wave of momentum got them right back in the contest. Vaivai got his second try of the night crashing over from close range, before sloppy Mackay defence had Patrick Politoni scything up the middle and linking with Wells to score Burleigh’s second try in just over a minute.
Kurtis Rowe then showed his strength and athleticism, holding off several Mackay cover tacklers to plant the ball down in the left corner, racking up Burleigh’s 16th point in the space of a mere five minutes on the stunned locals.
Saumalu scored his second try of the night, leaping high and getting the ball down inside the touchline to momentarily stem the flow of points against the hosts, but Politoni would soon snare an offload and stroll through a gaping hole in the Cutters defence, levelling the game at 28-all.
The Bears would then complete their remarkable comeback, taking the lead late in the game as a pinpoint cross-field bomb found the arms of Troy Leo who spun his way over the line.
It would leave the Cutters with one final throw of the dice, but the ball fell to the turf as they pressured the Bears line, and Burleigh would wrap up their third win of the season, leaving Mackay searching for answers after an almighty collapse.