North Sydney Bears 42 | Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0
Bears tries: James Tuitahi, Lachlan Lam 3, Curtis Johnston, Fletcher Baker, Bradley Deitz, Sitili Tupouniua
Bears Conversions: Brock Lamb 4/6, Drew Hutchison 1/2
In front of over 2,000 fans, the North Sydney Bears celebrated Old Bears Day as the Bears took on the Bulldogs. Prior to the match the Bears presented playing medals to former Bears players and families representing former Bears players who are no longer with us. A special moment for all recipients as they formed a guard of honour for the players to run through prior to kick off.
The Bears had a strong early start against defending premiers with a try to James Tuitahi in the 4th minute, showing great strength to barge over the line.
The match then turned into an arm wrestle with mistake free play from both sides meaning no breaks for the players on a hot day at North Sydney Oval.
The Bulldogs were the first to tire and the Bears took full advantage with three tries and quick succession. Firstly Lachlan Lam was put into space by a great Tom Freeebairn pass. Slick hands from Deitz and Lamb then put Curtis Johnston over in the corner, this was then followed by another show of strength by James Tuitahi which provided a pass over the try line to Fletcher Baker.
The Bears went into half time with an imposing lead of 20-0. North Sydney came out in the second half and maintained momentum when Bradley Deitz darted out of dummy half on the last tackle and caught the Bulldogs off guard for a great solo try in the 47th minute.
A lovely grubber kick from Brock Lamb provided a second try to Lachlan Lam under the posts in the 58th minute, converted by Brock Lamb and score moved to 32-0.
In the 67th minute Lachlan Lam fooled the Bulldogs with a beautiful dummy down the left side which allowed him to put Tupouniua through a gap, Lam then received the ball back in support and scored his third try for the day.
The Bears completed their scoring in the 71st minute, Lachlan Lam once again involved putting in a beautiful grubber kick which Sitili Tupouniua pounced on for a well-deserved try.
The Bears rans away 42-0 winners over the defending premiers, Lachlan Lam was named the Bears man of the match but there were also some stand out performances from Sitili Tupouniua and James Tuitahi in what was a very complete team performance.
When asked what pleased him most, Head Coach Jason Taylor spoke of controlling the game and team defence, “I though the control we played with in regards to applying pressure to the Bulldogs by playing some footy in an error free fashion was really impressive. We talked at half time about the fact we wanted to keep them to 0, so a real highlight for me was late in the game when the Bulldogs made a break, it was great to see the effort our players put in to defend our try line when the scoreboard showed that the game was over at that point.”
When asked if there was a standout performance in the match outside of Lachlan Lam, Taylor said “I think the defence of our forward pack was great. Those guys controlled the middle of the field which allowed our halves to play some football and contributed a lot to keeping them to 0.”
The Bears next game is this 3pm Saturday, April 13, against old rivals and fellow Foundation Club the Newtown Jets. Make sure you get down to Henson Park to cheer on the mighty Bears.
The Bears next home game is Good Friday, April 19 at 3pm against the Newcastle Knights.