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.
Running with the aid of the strong winds battering Sydney in the first half, Bears half back Aaron Heremaia took advantage with a fine 40/20 kick to have the Bears deep on attack as Tevita Metuisela crashed over next to the posts to have the Bears up 6-nil. With the winds playing havoc, a huge bomb by Aaron was allowed to bounce and Andrew Moodie made the Raiders pay by clutching the ball out of their hands to score. The second half finishing 12 all.
With the aid of the gale behind them the Raiders took the lead to 20-12. But the Bears went back to basics with some conservative play to maintain possession. Then - enter the mighty red & black back line. When an opportunity arose in the Raiders quarter, Chris Tuatara fended off a couple of defenders to crash over in the corner (try depicted in photo). Then with 10 minutes to go, Aaron Heremaia sparked the Bears with a chip kick and regather, with the Raiders defence upon him, Heremaia kicked to the left where Andrew Moodie with a careful regather, scored to level the match 20 all. The Raiders, desperate to stop the Bears momentum, conceded a penalty. Richard Retimana's kick into the gale was superb to bring the score to 22-20. The Bears flair continued. Heremaia switched the point of attack towards Anthony Kiro charging onto the ball out wide. Kiro threw a brilliant pass out to Lester Salanoa to have the Bears celebrations in full swing 26-20 to Norths.
The Bears hard work has begun to pay off with the scalp of one of the competition's form teams. Aaron Heremaia was outstanding in attack. His kicking game was first class and he never gave up while Ben Kalcina's second half performance was terrific. Coach Gary Freeman had words of praise for his team, "congratulations, you have learnt from your mistakes and become a great team".
North Sydney Bears 26 (Andrew Moodie 2, Tevita Metuisela, Chris Tuatara, Lester Salanoa tries Richard Retimana 3 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 20 (Bronx Goodwin 2, William Zillman, Jermaine Ale tries Todd Carney 2 goals)
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