THE North Sydney "Flair Bears" put on a stunning last quarter performance in front of a packed Newcastle crowd on Saturday afternoon at Energy Australia Stadium.
IT'S coming down to the wire as two original foundation clubs, North Sydney and Balmain titter on the edge of the top eight and possible finals glory.
THE Bears have moved one step closer to the finals with a solid win against Western Suburbs at Campbelltown on Saturday. The Magpies inability to constrain their opposition gave the Bears the opportunity to wreak havoc up the right side of the field via a superb running and passing game from Lester Salanoa and Chris Tuatara. They were fed by a never stopping Billy Ngawini at dummy half always looking dangerous while massive Alex Chan controlled the ruck. The Salanoa and Tuatara combination produced some flashy tries including Lester cutting through the Magpies line to almost score and Chris finishing off to run in the try. And in the second half Chris elegantly took a bomb put up by Wests and ran 60 metres followed by Lester making another break through the Wests defence to score celebrating with a summersault (pictured). The only disappointment of the match, letting Wests in for two concolation tries in the dying minutes of the match. The final score of 30-20 did not fully reflect the Bears dominance.
THE North Sydney Bears finals dreams are well and truly alive after winning an exciting second half of football against third placed Canberra 26 to 20. Achieving their third straight win at Bear Park Captain Kyle Arnold lead one of the most mature and consistent defensive performances to date in the second half. While the flashy back line showed spectacular flair and agility running in 5 tries to 4.
THIS Saturday the Mighty North Sydney Bears head west to Campbelltown Stadium to take on fellow foundation club Western Suburbs. The Magpies have now lost 6 on the trot while the Bears have won 3 at home and achieved a narrow loss against the fifth placed Bulldogs.
CHICKEN may well be on the menu this Friday night at North Sydney Oval when the North Sydney Bears attempt to win 4 in a row at home as they take on the Sydney Roosters in the main match at 7:00 p.m.
THE Flegg boys put in a courageous performance for the bulk of the match against the top place Dragons. Reflecting the closeness of the match at one point ABC Radio noted it would be "a huge upset if Norths won given both teams positions on the table". The first half proved a tough arm wrestle finishing 6-4 to the Bears after a try to Bears Tim Woodbine and some courageous defence to protect the Bears line. The Dragons moved ahead with two tries early in the first, but the Bears hit back with a monster run from forward Arnold Mano to score after good work from Tim Woodbine made it 16 all with 12 minutes on the clock. Unfortunately the last 10 minutes was completely unrepresentative of the rest of the game for the team, the highly placed Dragons winning 34-16. "Although we lacked intensity in the last 10, all the boys performed well" claimed coach Gavin Catanach singling out second rower Mick Morris and giving a big wrap to Jono Freeman in his return match.
Pictured: try scorer Arnold Mano.
AT North Sydney Oval on Sunday the Bears Jersey Flegg team came up against the Central Coast Rip. While the first half was a scratchy affair for the Bears, the second was full of intensity and pride in defence. From a half-time score of 10 all the forwards, leed by Captain Blake McLean, busted the line and ran the ball up well in attack. In the backline came a tremendous show by centre Danny Chiha achieving a hat trick of tries. The final score 22-16 to the Mighty Bears. Coach Gavin Catanach who praised his team for their second half display commented, "The Rip were not an easy side. It was a tough win".
A Classic game of two halves was played out in the Jersey Flegg match between the Bears and the Tigers on Saturday at Leichhardt Oval. It was a good solid in the first half as the Bears back rowers of Michael Morris and Ryan Verlinden forced errors in the Tigers attack. The Bears had the lead 10-6 at the break. The second half however lacked the same intensity.
"In the second we gave away a number of penalties that gave the opposition good field position" claimed Coach Gavin Catanach. The coaches best were second rower Michael Morris, five-eight Anthony Beare, Hooker Tim Woodbine (pictured) and Ryan Verlinden - "Always plays well" said Coach Catanach.
The final score 28-14 to the Tigers.
IT was a similar game to the Premier League in the Flegg, the Roosters team highlighted by a number of players with Premier League experience. As in the seniors match there were some notable performances. Coach Gavin Catanach made special mention of Captain Blake McLean, Lock Jessie Meleto, second rower Ryan Verlinden and Anthony Beare playing at half back.