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Round 15 Preview

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Kevin Braysher   A fresh start has produced results for Jeff Lynch who has already established his value as part of the I Luv Coffee Burleigh Bears. The former Canberra Raider joined the Bears in October of last year, before earning a one-deal with the Titans during a pre-season trial. While he continues to work hard in hopes of earning his NRL debut, Lynch is an important cog in the Bears forward pack and has nothing but praise for his new club and his new teammates. “From the strappers to the players to the coaches to wives and girlfriends; everybody is buying in to the culture here,” he said. “There is no division between any players; in most teams you’re going to find that there are little groups and cliques amongst the team, but with this bunch of fellas there are no groups. We’re one big family. “I think that goes to show on the field because when things get tough, we want to dig in for each other. Having players out on the field that you want to play with makes a massive difference.” The hard working lock started his playing days as a junior with the Cowra Magpies before being signed by the Raiders as a teenager. He made the move to Canberra and played three years of SG Ball, 3 years of under 20s in the National Youth Competition and spent two years in the Raiders full-time squad playing with the Mounties. In 2012, his Raiders NYC team made it all the way to the grand final, which was played at ANZ Stadium on NRL grand final day. The Raiders were unable to get the win on the day, but Lynch still looks back on that achievement as the highlight of his career so far. “We had an unreal team back then,” he said. “We had Sami Sauiluma who is here at the Bears, too. We had the likes of (Anthony) Milford, Mitch Cornish; it was a stacked team. “The week leading into that grand final was unreal. Unfortunately, we got done, but that is probably the highlight of my career so far. “The whole year was great because for the years leading up to that we were always finishing in that bottom tier of the ladder and we were getting smashed by 30 and 40 points. “We had a real big clean out of personnel in 2012 and I wasn’t expecting us to go as well as we did. It’s probably right up there as one of the best teams I’ve been a part of.” This weekend Jeff and his Burleigh teammates head to Piggabeen to take on the Tweed Seagulls in round 15 of the Intrust Super Cup. It will be the second meeting of 2016 for the local rivals with Burleigh picking up a 36-26 win back in round two. The local derby always brings out the best in both sides and with Burleigh currently sharing the competition lead with Townsville Blackhawks, it is important they produce another good performance on Sunday afternoon. “I missed the last Tweed clash, so I’m pretty keen to get out there and go up against the local rivals and the other second tier Titans boys and see how they fare,” Lynch said. “I think it’s really important for us to win this weekend and then win again next weekend heading into the bye, so I’m just really keen and excited about every week with these boys.” Kick-off between the Bears and the Seagulls is 1:40pm this Sunday afternoon at Piggabeen Sports Complex. The game will be broadcast live on Channel 9. The Bears welcome back Queensland Residents representatives Sami Sauiluma and Cameron Cullen to the starting side after both missed last week’s win over Wynnum Manly.   Burleigh Bears 1. Kurtis Rowe 2. Waka Wanahi 3. Sami Sauiluma 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Oliver Regan 6. Cameron Cullen 7. Jamal Fogarty 8.  Luke Page 9. Patrick Politoni 16. Joshua Ailaomai 11. Jamie Dowling 12. Hayden Schwass 13. Jeffrey Lynch 10. Paterika Vaivai 14. Thomas Rowles 15. Lachlan Burr 17. Louis Fanene 18. Parahi Wilson Coach: Jim Lenihan