An unwavering Illawarra side fought hard to keep their finals hopes alive as they defeated North Sydney 30-16 at UOW Jubilee Oval on Saturday in Round 23 of the ISP NSW.
The Bears didn’t get off to the best start, giving away back-to-back penalties that Illawarra were able to capitalise on and turn into early points.
Illawarra continued to look dangerous but a hard-hitting Bears defence and solid performances from the likes of David Tyrell, Jason Clark and Anthony Cherrington kept them in the game.
A great try by Tautalatasi Tasi off the back of an outstanding pass by Eli Levido brought the Bears back within striking range as Illawarra lead 12-6. Unforced errors on the Illawarra goal line blew the Bears chance to level the scores. Further tries by Kalifa Faifai and Luciano Leilua widened the gap to 18.
A last ditch team effort from the Bears saw them make a play across the width of the field with Miski crossing for his second. However an unsuccessful conversion took away any chance of a comeback leaving the final score 30-16.
The Bears now turn their focus to next Saturday when they take on the Panthers at St Marys Stadium at 6:00pm.
Illawarra 30 (R Kennedy, A Clune, K Faifai Loa, L Leilua, J Hind tries; J Field 5 goals) def North Sydney Bears 16 (A Miski 2, T Tasi tries; E Levido 2 goals)