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The crowd was big and loud and the atmosphere terrific as North Sydney Oval once again hosted Rugby League on a Friday night. The game; Bears V Parramatta, a rematch from the first game of the season won by Norths 28-24, was highly anticipated by the crowd. With the late news of Michael Vella to make a comeback in the Eels side and 2 legendary half backs, Gary Freeman and Jason Taylor at the coaching reins everyone was ready for a huge game at Bear Park.
Both teams turned in impressive performances, but North Sydney lifted quickly early in the match and played with an intensity that delighted the very vocal crowd.
A period of sustained attack leading to some exciting and quick passing saw Lester Salanoa score the first of 2 tries showing great maturity to hit back after missing an opportunity in the previous six. His second try showed spectacular pace scoring in the corner.
Strong running from the forwards, with Jamie Feeney leading the charge with Ian Donnelly and Mick Harper, saw the Bears make a lot of metres through the centre of the ground, also allowing a try to Namila Davui as the Bears continued to play strongly in both attack and defense. With Parramatta starting to struggle North Sydney took the lead with Lester Salanoa's second try as the Bears were minutes away from recording a win against top of the table Parramatta.
With the Bears trailing 18-16 with only three minutes remaining the Eels scored with the final result a loss 24-16, a margin that certainly did not indicate the closeness of the game.
Coach Gary "Wizz" Freeman said "We proved we can be competitive and they are an exciting and entertaining team to watch. We would love the fans to back up again and keep up the great support".
The fans next change will be this Sunday 24th April against the other top of the table side Canberra at Canberra Stadium from 12:30pm.
For all your information on the Mighty Bears go to http://www.northsydneybears.com.au