The Bears’ Harold Matthews Cup team finally got the chance to play footy. However few at the Club would have envisioned the final result: a 22 all draw with the Balmain Tigers.
“The feeling was a little bittersweet. It’s not the win we were chasing however it’s not a loss!” claimed Pete Palmer Head coach of the under 16s Representative team.
📅Don’t miss the Harold Matthews’ next performance 11:00 am Saturday 25th February at Morrie Breen Reserve on New South Wales Central Coast.
📸Check out our action shots of Photo Gallery – Round Two Harold Matthews Cup Vs Balmain.
In a see-sawing match, the Tigers lead 12-10 at half-time after Bears halfback Jacob Preston scored early and forward Tevita Faupula scored the first of two tries right on the bell.
“It was a great effort from the playing group, we spoke about raising our intensity and being able to play quality footy for long periods of time.”
“We went in with a pretty specific game plan, and we executed that pretty well.”
Within ten minutes of the second half, the Tigers had hit back twice to lead 22-10.
“A few defensive decisions cost us on the scoreboard, but we can only improve on that.”
Within a minute of the Tigers getting to 22 Tevita Faupula scored his second try (Tevita returning from a pre-season injury prior to the match).
With only five minutes left Spiro Psiroukis crashed over. The momentum stuck with the Bears until the very last minute as Bears centre Joji Duwai scored.
Despite the unexpected result, Pete Palmer was full of praise for his team.
“Callan Burgess [our captain] was outstanding playing 60 minutes in the back row.”
“Brad Michael was a standout, and Tevita Fapula scored two tries in his first game back from injury.”
The Bears have a road trip to the New South Wales Central Coast next Saturday to face the Centurions at Morrie Breen Reserve 11:00 am.
BALMAIN TIGERS 22 (tries: Semeatu Saemo 2, Flynn Angles-Corke 2, conversions: Jesse Provan, Joshua Rizk, Semeatu Saemo),
drew with NORTH SYDNEY BEARS 22 (tries: Jacob Preston, Tevita Faupula 2, Spiro Psiroukis, Joji Duwai, conversion: Terii Taia).
The HAROLD MATTHEWS CUP is a 16-team under-16s Australian rugby league competition staged by the New South Wales Rugby League.
The competition is made up of New South Wales based clubs and includes both junior representative teams of the National Rugby League and clubs and academies that do not field teams in the National Rugby League competition.
The competition is named after Harold Matthews, a Balmain Tigers secretary who later was appointed as manager of the Australian Test squad and later went on to become secretary of the New South Wales Rugby League and Australian rugby league.