The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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"You're only as good as your last game" exclaimed S.G. Ball coach Greg Richardson after his boys showed their metal notching up an outstanding win against the Cronulla Sharks. In a try scoring feast in the first half the Bears played quality, mistake free footy, giving them the edge. Great runs from Tyson Muscat and Liam Foran and a tremendous front row performance lead by Matt Cooper to reign in the Sharks attack gave Norths a 4 to 2 try lead at half time.
Cronulla hit back in the second half, but the Bears stuck to their guns. In the end it was too late for the Cronulla side, the Bears wining a close one 38-36. Coach Richardson said "It just goes to show if you do the simple things right the big things will look after themselves". Greg's final standouts for the year were Greg Gibbins, Matt Cooper, Liam Foran and Tyson Muscat but a great team performance at any rate (pictured scoring a try Steven Subakti).
Norths General Manager Greg Florimo thanked the boys for their effort throughout the year saying "It's been a tough road but you finished in outstanding fashion. Remember the good times and know that you've developed plenty of character and you're a good bunch of mates and that's what footy's all about".
A poor first half from the Bears gave the Sharks a 24-6 lead. However the boys stepped it up in the 2nd running in 3 tries. Under pressure and with one try the difference, the Cronulla side attempted a field goal and were successful to bring the final score to 29-22. Standouts for the Bears were Brendan Randall and Eddie Lavulo. Harold Matts coach Steve Sullivan thanked the boys for the effort saying "I hope you can take what you've learnt with you to back to your local clubs". Greg Florimo then thanked the boys commenting "I hope you can go away a little bit smarter and remember the importance of working as a team".
The North Sydney Bears were looking for an improved performance against the Raiders. In the first half the Bears performed well in patches and in fact had the Raiders defense scrambling making a number of breaks but were unable to finish the job. In the second quarter the boys' defense lapsed with 34-10 the half time score to Canberra. At the half time break Coach Gary Freeman reiterated the importance of ball security and defense. And so the second half performance for the Bears was an improved effort, Chris Tuatara having a return to form scoring 3 tries and Billy Ngawini scoring a fine individual try with a 30 metre run up the middle of the park and then leaving the Raiders fullback gasping at fresh air with a Benji Marshall style hop to score under the posts. The final score 56-32 to the Raiders.
The Bears showed that they are a very skilful team with numerous offloads and proved they could consistently create line breaks if they hold on to the ball. Unfortunately their defense let the Raiders do their damage. Best players for the Bears were Hooker Billy Ngawini, Lock Luke Fatnowna, and full-back John Russell who suffered a lower back injury And could be out for a number of weeks.
Keep this Friday night free as the Bears face the Newtown Jets in the second leg of the Frank Hyde Shield with the match starting at 7:00pm.
A tough lesson for the Bears, with the Raiders flexing their muscle in the first half and applying pressure on the Bears defense. The Raiders scored five first half tries to have the half time score at 26-0. The half time break allowed time for the Bears to regroup. Though not being able to score the Bears had the Raiders defense under pressure for the majority of the half. It wasn't until late in the second half before the Raiders were able to score two late tries to round out the scoring to 34-0.
This Friday night the Flegg boys take on the Cronulla Sharks the match to begin at 5:30pm.
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