Match Report – Frank Hyde Shield Produces Absolute Thriller

Cheyne Whitelaw in the 43 junper to signify the 1943 grand Final with Camron Murray in 19 - Intrust Super Premiership | Round 10 | North Sydney Vs Newtown | North Sydney Oval | 14/05/2017. Photo Steve Little www.redandblackzone.com.

You couldn’t have asked for a more exciting finish as foundation clubs the North Sydney Bears and the Newtown Jets battled out the first leg of the Frank Hyde Shield at North Sydney Oval last Sunday, with the boys from Newtown coming up trumps 12-16.

Walking into the Bear Park the feeling of community was palpable. It was a beautiful sight, a scattering of baggy blues mingled in with red and black. Two clubs living on passion, community and a shared love for the people’s game, the true values of the game. A special mention to the ladies of the City vs. Country match-up who brought the true value of the game to life at the oval.

Next week it’s GAME ON, as the Bears take on the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, Sunday 21st May, 3 pm at North Sydney Oval.

Norths and Newtown may be brothers in arms off the field once the whistle blew it was on for young and old with the Frank Hyde Shield on the line.

It was Newtown with early ascendency battering the North Sydney line set after set. The fortitude of the Bears was evident, defending the line with desperation. Coach Gardiner’s men were organised and physical off the line defensively. It’s always a treat having Zane Musgrove in a Bears jersey, Musgrove’s hit ups early on got the Bears rolling forward beautifully.

With 10 minutes gone it became quite obvious this would be a physical, passionate game.  Newtown drew first blood with centre Jesse Ramen hitting a hole five metres out. The Try was converted 0-6.

Mid way through the half the Bears poor discipline continued to piggyback the Jets up the field and mount pressure on the Norths line. Norths defence stood strong, wave after wave. With 15 to go in the half the Bears continued to shoot themselves in the foot, the penalty count 6-1, compounded with basic errors. A Newtown penalty goal was a minor let off, putting the Jets 8 up.

30 minutes in the Bears were holding out for halftime before a fortunate Newtown knock on and a penalty finally gave Norths a chance in enemy territory. A productive set had the Bears 10 metres out. Come 5th tackle a stray Eli Levido pass out back ended up in the hands of winger Braidon Burns. Out of broken play, Burns ran back infield and straightened for the line, beating 3 Jets to dance his way over. The conversion successful, 6-8 going into half time.

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The second stanza commenced, and the red and black were a totally different team. The first three sets if the half were clinically executed, completed with perfect kicks on the last from halves Kelly and Levido. Norths had come back onto Bear Park with structure and purpose.

Against the run of play, Newtown managed to use two penalties to send Jordan Drew through a hole and over in the 45th minute. The conversion was waved away, 6-12.

This didn’t seem to phase the Bears as they were back on the attack, completing their sets with the Jets visibly on the back foot. It was only a matter of time that a sleek back line play, Levido to Neilson, Neilson fending three defenders off as he threw a perfect flick pass to winger Sitiveni Moceidreke who was in for the points in the corner. Levido just missing the conversion from the sideline, 10-12.

With 22 left on the clock, the Bears were hitting stride at the right time. A forced knock on after a great set had the Bears in front of the Ken Irvine Scoreboard yet again. A ruck penalty gave Norths the opportunity to even it up from right in front. 12-12 with 21 to go.

You could feel the tension rising minute to minute. The next 10 minutes were all the Bears. Before being carried off injured Sifa Talaki was an absolute weapon down the Bears right flank, arguably one of the best on the field.

Into the final 10 minutes, Norths were parked on Newtown’s line. An impressive Brad Deitz solo grubber almost ended with points, instead forcing a repeat set.

Yet with everything coming up red and black and with 7 minutes remaining, a 50/50 pass was intercepted by Newtown’s Cedric Lee which led to a 90 metre effort that sent the ground into hysteria, scoring for the baggy blues to put them up 16-12 with the conversion.

This would be the final score despite a penalty off the scrum and one final side to side set on the Jets line, that didn’t come to fruition for the Bears. Final score 16-12.

With all said and done, “Mate, can we do this every week” could be heard around the ground. The term “this is what rugby league is all about” gets thrown around a lot but this traditional matchup was and is something special.

Results aside it was a great day at Bear Park, and you couldn’t help but respect the Newtown club as the players embraced the fans at the end of the game.

A big thank you to both clubs for showing that the game still has heart.

Next week 3 pm at North Sydney Oval the fiercest of rivalries continues with the Bears taking on the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, Game on!

NEWTOWN JETS 16 (tries: Jesse Ramien, Jordan Drew, Edrick Lee, conversion: Fa’Amanu Brown, penalty: Fa’Amanu Brown),
defeated NORTH SYDNEY BEARS 12 (tries: Braidon Burns, Sitiveni Moceidreke, conversion: Eli Levido, penalty: Eli Levido).

15 Adam Doueihi
21 Braidon Burns
5 Dane Neilson
20 Sifa Talakai
1 Sitiveni Moceidreke
6 Eli Levido
7 Luke Kelly
18 Zane Musgrove
9 Bradley Deitz (C)
11 Brett Greinke
19 Cameron Murray
12 Piki Rogers
43 Cheyne Whitelaw

2 Tautalatasi Tasi
10 Toby Rudolf
14 Clayton Williams
16 Jack Gosiewski