Knock-On Effect NSW Cup

In hot and windy conditions, we got our Knock-On Effect NSW Cup 2024 season underway last Sunday as we took on St George Illawarra Dragons in Wollongong. Only five minutes in, Ben Talty got the Bears on the board with a straight and strong push for the line. The Dragons quickly answered jumping on a Bears mistake to even the scores at 4 a piece, and there the score remained for the rest of the half. Both sides seemed to be finding their combinations in the first half, and although the boys in the red & black made a number of errors, mostly in over enthusiasm, their fierce defence kept them in the game. “They had 10 sets attacking our tryline and didn’t score, so we knew if we could control the ball, we would be in with a chance despite using a lot of petrol in the 1st half.” stated Head Coach Pat Weisner. On the field, our captain, Kurt De Luis, could be clearly heard throughout the venue applauding the team every time they held out a set of six. His leadership and positive energy infectious.

The half time hooter brought reprieve and a chance for the boys to catch their breath and regroup. The coaching team tweaked the game plan for the second half deciding to play less expansive and more direct, it ended up paying off. Jake Toby got the second half point scoring ball rolling finding the white line after a snifty “shows it” and dummy half dart. Melbourne Storm young gun, Keagen Russell-Smith converted the try battling incredibly windy conditions. Ten minutes later, another Bear debutant Riley Meyn backed himself and took the ball to the line to take the lead to 4 – 14. Not long after, another Storm sensation Sua Fa’alogo gets off a great offload to a waiting Toby who weaves his way to nab his second try. Again Russell-Smith converts.

Less than ten minutes later and Bears are on the attack again, the ball sweeps to the side line, Fa’alogo lofts a pass out to fellow Storm winger Dean Ieremia who barges his way over to boast his first try in the red & black. Kieran Hayman attempts the conversion but is waved away in this intense wind, the score extends to 4 – 24. Not done yet, and Toby is pumped to take out a hattrick on debut after a beautiful chip to the corner is put in by Russell-Smith and chased down by Toby. After 80 minutes and keeping the opposition scoreless from the 9th minute of the game, Bears walkaway with a solid Round 1 win.  “Making only one error to go with our strong defence in the 2nd half and that’s why we ran away with the game.” commented a pleased Weisner.

This weekend the team heads to New Zealand to play the Warriors on Sunday. Check out the team named to get the job done >>

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