It is always an exciting clash when we go up against the Newtown Jets and last Saturday definitely set the hearts a flutter. Turning up to a soggy Henson Park we knew the next 80 minutes were going to be tough, although thankfully the rain stayed mostly away during the game. In honour of the first game of the 2023 Frank Hyde Shield, Bears donned their Heritage Jersey that features the iconic red & black hoops and a white cotton drill collar. Jets got off to a cracking start and within 20 minutes the red & black were trailing 18 – 0. And although the hearts of the viewers were starting to sink, the players remained calm on field with the knowledge that league is an 80 minute game. Finally with 10 minutes left in the half, Junior Pauga made a break and speedy Ben Stevanovic sat on his wing to collect a nice pass and take the ball under the white posts to which Jesse Marchke converted. Jets swiftly retaliated in the last thirty seconds of the half weaver his way through the Bears defence and taking the teams to the sheds with the Bluebags up 22 – 6.

Now wouldn’t we all have liked to be a fly on the wall in the Bears change room during that half time talk. The word is the players encountered a fiery Jason Taylor who told them in pretty simple terms that if they all turn up and tackle they can win this game, that there was still 40 minutes to turn the game around and that the boys had the depth to get the job done if they too believed in themselves…maybe with a few more colourful words thrown in.

When the Bears ran out for that second half you can see a sense of determination in them, their shoulders were back, their heads were high and although us fans had a nervousness running through our bodies the Bears knew what to do. Just after kick off Pauga makes a brilliant break and shrugs off the defence, Stevanovic is on his wing again but with a looming Mansour chasing him down swiftly gets a pass back to Pauga who dives under the posts and again Marschke converts. Only moments later, Bears are on the charge again and this time Billy Smith scoots from dummy half to add the 4 points. Bears continued to keep the Bluebags scoreless as they charged in again sweeping the ball to the wing and into the hands of Pauga who find his way through a tired defence for his second try of the game, Marschke converted and evened the score at 22 all. The game was not over yet as we headed into the last 10 minutes of the game, Marschke pops up a beautiful bomb right on the try line, Bears race towards the landing zone, Toa Mata’afa knocks the ball backwards and Reuben Porter grounds it. Again, Marshke converts and the Bears take the lead for the first time in the game at 28 – 22.

Both sides fighting to the last minute and Jets nab an important try with 7 minutes to go to again lock the scores at 28 a piece. With only three minutes left on the clock, Marschke positions himself and the Bears get the ball to him to expertly nail a field goal and push the Bears ahead by one point. the red & black hold on to take the win in a mighty way and to show the NSW Cup that they won’t back down. A nailbiter that showed the grit needed when push comes to shove. Bears win the first clash of the Frank Hyde Shield and we look forward to welcomign the Jets to Bear Park on Sunday 11th June to do it all again and decide the winner of the Cup.
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As the NRL heads to Brisvegas, we will have three big games of NSW Cup footy on at North Sydney Oval this Saturday 6th May. Four foundation clubs of North Sydney, Souths, Easts and Wests along with the Eels and the Warriors will face off in an epic day of rugby league at Bear Park. Gates will open at 10.30am ahead of the clash between the Bunnies and the Roosters at 11am, followed by Bears v Warriors at 1pm and finishing off with Eels vs Magpies at 3pm.

Grab your mates, get the family together and make a day of it. Gourmet food stalls selling chunky pies, German sausages by Volkswurst and for this day only our mates at The Greens North Sydney will be serving up delicious hamburgers and “magic” donuts. We have plenty of bars open serving up Bear Park Brews including our Pale Ale, Local Lager and the new Hard Ginger Beer plus other craft beers.

The CIP Kick for Cash will be on with $1000 up for grabs, get practicing now! Lot’s of fun kids activities to keep the little ones entertained, Barney the Bear will be out and about and the music will be pumping. Adults $15 and Kids U16 FREE. Get your footy fix at Bear Park this Saturday!

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