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The North Sydney Bears will return this weekend to Leichhardt Oval, the scene of one of their most spectacular on-field appearances in 07 where they beat the mighty Panthers 24-20 in a thrilling semifinal.
On Saturday 1st March North Sydney will compete in a trial match against the Western Suburbs Magpies and will also contest round 3 of the Harold Matthews Cup and S G Ball against Balmain amidst the memories of their stunning victory last year.
Date: Saturday 1st March 2008 - Location: Leichhardt Oval
Trial NSW State Cup Western Suburbs V North Sydney - 7:00pm
Round Three NSW Junior Rep Competition Balmain V North Sydney - Harold Matthews - 4 pm, S G Ball - 5.30 pm.
Last weekend the Bears NSW Cup side continued their pre-season trials with a match against the Cronulla-Sutherland Cobras. A tough defensive match, the Bears showed good skills under pressure. A particular highlight was a heroic individual try from hooker Matt Hunt pushing trough the Cobras forward pack to score. Final score 12 all.
The North Sydney Junior Representative sides have contested round 2 of competition against the Western Sydney Academy at Wentworthville last Saturday.
While competitive both teams have ultimately lost out on 2 important points.
The Harold Matthews were leading almost the whole match until Western Sydney scored close to the end of proceedings. Our forwards were going well, our halves were putting on some great plays and our defense had been excellent. Penalties, however and the heat took their toll in the second half and substantially affected the flow of play.
In the first half it was all the Bears. Norths forced a line drop out and in the next set spread the ball along the backline to Shane Brown who scored in the right corner. Bevan De Vries converted from the touchline to give his team a 6-0 lead.
Luke Keary then scored from dummy half after good lead up play from Allan Fepuleai, Aidan Carney and Aaron Chan Chui had the Bears close to the line. And so Norths remained 10-0 in front to the break.
In the Second half a penalty to Western Sydney put them in good field position to score and with the flow of play now in their favor scored a further 6 pointer to get them 12-10 in the lead. A penalty kick awarded to West on fulltime sealed their win, final score 14-10.
Norths were in catch up footy mode for most of their S G Ball outing, after a lacklustre opening 10 minutes. But after their first try things started to settle as they worked their way back into the game. Norths had a number of chances to score and the game was there to be won. However the Academy team scored enough and early enough to snatch a victory by 2 points. Western Academy scored 2 unconverted tries before Casey Faets took an intercept and ran about 40m but was tackled about 2m short. Jonathon Neasey barged over soon after to make it 8-4 to the Academy. There were two more tries to the opposition before Jaylan Connelly scored and Dylan Farrell converted. Then Five-eighth Dylan Farrell put in a grubber for Kurt Devetak to pick up the ball and score. Dylan converted and the teams went to the break with only 2 points separating them 18-16 to the Academy. The Western Academy scored all their second half points early bringing the score to 30-16 in their favor. But the Bears made a late run with 2 more tries. Jason Tanuvasa made a break down the right wing to get good field position. Dylan Farrell stepped past the defense to score and then convert 30-22. With 2 minutes left on the clock Dylan Farrell scored again after good runs from Jack Hawkins and Jason Tanuvasa in the lead-up to finish an all too close 30-28 despite being without top players - Charles Vicente, Jayson Lombardo and Shaun Vaotuua.
WESTERN SYDNEY ACADEMY OF SPORT 30 (6 tries, 3 goals from 6) defeated NORTH SYDNEY 28 (Jonathon Neasey, Jaylan Connelly, Kurt Devetak, Dylan Farrell 2 tries. Dylan Farrell 4 goals from 5). Half time 18-16 Western Sydney Academy of Sport. PICTURED: Matt Hunt muscles his way through the defense in a memorable try on Saturday. PHOTO: Steve Little.