Bears duo injured in tough Residents loss
Injury was added to insult as XXXX Queensland Residents halfback Jamal Fogarty suffered another ankle injury in a 36-20 defeat at the hands of NSW Residents.
The nightmare outing began when NSW half Kyle Flanagan pounced on a grubber kick just centimetres from the dead-ball line in the fifth minute.
Appointed captain of the Blues side at just 19 years of age, the son of Cronulla Sharks head coach Shane Flanagan proved he was up to the task with a standout performance.
Aside from striking the first blow, he figured in the lead-up to several other tries and booted six goals from as many attempts.
NSW Residents led 30-0 at halftime, with two tries in three minutes by hard-running Dean Britt delivering the killer blow.
Following Britt’s second four-pointer in the 22nd minute, the Queenslanders were inflicted a mortal wound when Fogarty suffered a recurrence of the syndesmosis injury that kept him out for two months of this season.
He played no further part in the interstate contest.
How that affects the run home of early Intrust Super Cup pace-setters Burleigh remains to be seen, as the Bears battled on ably without their key man in recent months.
Disjointed and losing to NSW Residents in the ruck, Queensland conceded two more tries in the first half to head to the sheds with a mammoth task ahead of them.
The second stanza began with promise as Kalifa Faifai-Loa dived acrobatically in the corner in the 44th minute, but NSW shot back through an equally impressive try at full-stretch to winger Tony Satini.
Queensland hooker Pat Politoni, also of the Burleigh Bears, was then sidelined momentarily as he took a blow to the eye, removed from the field for a head injury assessment.
He was cleared to play on, but the score was 36-4 until the final seven minutes when Queensland ran in three successive tries.
Billy Walters and Scott Drinkwater combined first to send over skipper Blake Leary with an entertaining play that covered plenty of territory and featured a massive hit in the build-up.
Fullback Drinkwater was pinpointed before the game by coach Jon Buchanan as a key player and he lived up to that billing, going solo only 90 seconds later to beat three men to the tryline.
Finishing a tough evening on a high note, former New Zealand and Samoan Test player Faifai-Loa crossed following a break started by Walters and then a chip-kick by the five-eighth on the very next play.
NSW RESIDENTS 36 (Dean Britt 2, Kyle Flanagan, Luke Garner, Sean O’Sullivan, Tony Satini tries; Kyle Flanagan 6 goals) def XXXX QLD RESIDENTS 20 (Kalifa Faifai-Loa 2, Blake Leary, Scott Drinkwater tries; Kalifa Faifai-Loa 2 goals) at ANZ Stadium.