Knock-On Effect NSW Cup

As the red & black and white & black retro jerseys and Junior Bears piled into North Sydney Oval, the excitement was high to be finally back at Bear Park for the 2024 season. After extreme weather hit the east coast on Friday, the sight of blue sky and a blaring sun on game day was welcomed by all. And the oval really was a thing of beauty! The grass was brilliant green, the historic Ken Irvine Scoreboard in action, the cold Bear Park Brews flowed, the live bland blared its retro tunes and the footy on the field was on fire. What a way to kick off our home game series than with Bears v Magpies in the first clash of the Jason Taylor Cup. To commemorate Retro Round, the Bears team donned the iconic red & black hoops “Heritage” jersey for the game. Supporter Heritage Jerseys are available in our online store now: SHOP HERE

In his 100th NSW Cup game, Josh Bergamin got the Bears on the board and opened the scoring with a dummy on approach to the line and rolled over to take the points. Five minutes later and Bears were attacking the line again. Rua Ngatikaura backs himself from dummy half, spots a gap and takes it. Kieran Hayman converts and the Bears lead 10 – 0. Heading towards the 30-minute mark in the first half, Bears take advantage of a seven-tackle restart and Hayman legs it down field. Tui Katoa breaks the Magpies defensive line and grounds the ball under the posts, Hayman converts. With five minutes left in the first half, the Magpies find the Bears defense lacking in the corner and light up the scoreboard. A dangerous tackle penalty is blown in the last 60 seconds, Bears go for the two points but are waived away and the teams head to the sheds with the good guys in the lead 16 – 6.

Starting the second half strongly, the ball sweeps to the wing and from a neat pass from Ben Stevanovic finds Dean Ieremia on the wing who charges for the corner to the delight of the red & black fans on the hill. Conversion is missed. The Bears strong defensive line up continued to shine, holding the opposition out time and time again. Running towards the grand Figtree in the second half, a defended kick pops up into the hands of big Nelson Asofa-Solomona who dives under the white posts to boast his first try wearing a Bears jersey and the crowd goes wild. Hayman converts and the lead extends to 26 – 6. Not done yet and with just over 20 minutes remaining, our Round 5 voted Players Player, Tepai Moeroa storms through the Magpies dropping players as he goes to add the four points and again Hayman converts. Only moments later, Wests retaliate sweeping the ball to the wing and fight back with a controversial converted try to make the score 32 – 12. Still plenty of action to go with only 13 minutes left on the clock, new recruit Jayden Yates hits the ball with pace and swiftly finds the try line to nab his first try in the red & black jersey Hayman converts and the score extends further to 38 – 12. Magpies take one last points grab off a grubber into goal, conversion is missed and their points game ends at a total of 16. Bears still have some fire left in their bellies and as Bergamin gets an offload out to Hayman, Allan Fitzgibbon is there to finish off the game in the 79th minute and set the score at 42 – 16. The Bears fans go wild and storm the field to congratulate their team. What a strong win and what a day!

“We gave away 8 penalties in the first half which made the game harder than it needed to be for us defensively. Once we got some discipline and control back in the 2nd half we ran away with the game and probably should have won by more. Lots to improve on but it’s hard to be unhappy when you win by 26 at home.” commented Head Coach Pat Weisner.

Looking ahead to round 6, the boys head to CommBank Stadium this Saturday to take on the Parramatta Eels. “The Eels will be desperate to get a win and should have won 2 or more games already.” stated Weisner. “They are very very big and have a quick backline so we will need to tackle well and fix our discipline so we will work on both this week.”. A big week in training looms for the team.

Check out the team named to pull on a red & black jersey this weekend >>

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