The Comets centre sizes up Ayden Lee as he takes on the Burleigh defence at the Gold Coast.
The Comets centre sizes up Ayden Lee as he takes on the Burleigh defence at the Gold Coast. Charles Knight

Double is not enough

TWO tries to Nathan Barraclough and a number of good, quality displays were not enough to give the CQ Comets victory at Burleigh on Saturday.

It was a rollercoaster ride, with the Comets down 20-0 within the first half hour and then forcing their way back into the contest, before conceding two late tries to lose an entertaining encounter 34-22.

The heartbreaking thing for the Comets was each time a mistake was made the home team seemed to have someone on hand to capitalise and score the four-pointer.

That was not the main concern for coach Wayne Barnett.

“Burleigh scored three times on the fifth tackle. That means we were mentally switching off,” he said.

Three of the home side's tries were from kicks, with two being desperation and one a routine bomb.

Burleigh was on the board early in the match when a loose ball was hacked into the in-goal and winger BJ Munns made a meal of collecting it. That allowed second-rower Brenton Lawrence to force it.

A misplaced James Crombie off-load led to the second try, by Anthony Don, and then back-to-back penalties moved Burleigh upfield for Dominic Walsh to get his name of the scoresheet.

Compounding the Comets' problems, Ian Webster kicked the restart out on the full and this time it was Blake Morrison on hand to score.

At 20-0 down, and after 13 missed tackles, the Comets started to play.

Jimmy McConachy got the Comets on the board and then, just before the siren, Ian Webster sent Barraclough through for his first, with the teams having their break with the score 20-10.

Barraclough, who came off the interchange to play lock, showed his power again to get try number two and put the Comets just four points behind.

Even when Burleigh star Clinton Toopi set up Don for his second try, courtesy of a dropped ball by McConachy – trying to catch a speculative kick ahead by the home side – the Comets looked to be the stronger team.

A high tackle on Brent Williams gave the Comets a penalty close to the line, with Tevita Latu taking the tap and dancing around some slack defence to make it a two-point ball game.

Then the wheels fell off.

A forward pass by Latu and a Guy Williams penalty at a play-the-ball turned defence to attack, with Lawrence doing the donkey work for Walsh to score. Then Matt Pow, in his 100th Queensland Cup game, sealed the win.

Barnett said the only injury concern was with Mitchell Zornig's ankle, which had kept him out for a couple of weeks.

“Mitchell had an outstanding game on the right side,” Barnett said.



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