Burleigh prop Mark Ioane may find it difficult squeezing his way into an in-form Gold Coast Titans side at the moment but based on his performance in Burleigh's 28-18 win over Ipswich he won't be far from coach Neil Henry's thoughts.
The 24-year-old scored one try and set up another – terrorising Origin veteran Chris Walker with a series of barnstorming runs – during a devastating spell for the Bears midway through the second half of their Round 7 Intrust Super Cup clash at North Ipswich Reserve.
Ioane has 20 NRL appearances under his belt and last featured for the Titans in their 40-0 hiding at the hands of the Panthers in Round 2.
However, based on Sunday's outing against the Jets the Auckland-born enforcer could be trading Burleigh's Pizzey Park for Cbus Super Stadium in the coming weeks.
Former Penrith centre and current Titans squad member Brad Tighe also crossed the try-line for the Bears, who moved to sixth on the ladder on eight competition points with the Jets fourth on 10 points.
Trailing 16-6 at half-time, the Bears crossed seven minutes into the second stanza through young centre Connor Broadhurst before Marmin Barba eased the pressure on the Jets with a penalty goal to take the score to 18-10 after 54 minutes.
The Jets began to run out of fuel at this stage of the contest – the result of making 50 more tackles than their opponents – and soon conceded their third try when Ioane bullocked his way over Walker and company to have the Bears within two points of the hosts.
Despite some desperate Ipswich defence, sustained pressure on the Jets' line soon took its toll when Tighe crossed out wide and fullback Tyler Chadburn converted to see Burleigh hit the front 22-18 with 11 minutes to go.
Poor ball control cost the Jets inside the final 10 minutes and the Bears eventually sealed the result when Ioane sent skipper Darren Griffiths over under the posts for a 28-18 victory.
The only sour note for the Bears were injuries to halves Ryley Jacks and Todd Seymour with the latter stretchered off seven minutes from full-time with a knee injury.
In other results, Easts Tigers moved to second on the ladder with 50-point thrashing of Central Queensland in coach Jason Hetherington's final match in charge of the Capras.
The former Queensland hooker, who played eight games for the Maroons from 1998 to 2000, is stepping down from his role due to personal reasons with assistant Lionel Harbin set to take the reins in an interim capacity.
Saturday's other results saw the Northern Pride win their second game in a row after trouncing Norths Devils 42-10 with Javid Bowen bagging a hat-trick, while the Wynnum Manly Seagulls defeated Sunshine Coast Falcons 23-10 at Pinklands Sports Complex.
Townsville's 40-10 victory over Redcliffe keeps them outright competition leaders on 12 points with third-placed Mackay Cutters (10 points) unable to capitalise due to their 26-24 loss against the PNG Hunters, who managed to snap their two-game losing streak at home in Kokopo.
Tweed Heads Seagulls handed Souths Logan Magpies their fourth-straight loss with a 24-0 win at Piggabeen Sports in the final match of Round 7.
Burleigh Bears 28 (Brad Tighe, Connor Broadhurst, Mark Ioane, Jason Chan, Darren Griffiths tries; Tyler Chadburn 4 goals) def. Ipswich Jets 18 (Marmin Barba 2, Carlin Anderson tries; Barba 2, Anderson goals) at North Ipswich Reserve. Half-time: Jets 16-6. Man of the Match: Jason Chan.
For full details of Round 7 of the Intrust Super Cup click here.