What a beauty of a winter’s day it was to be back at Bear Park for the final of the Jason Taylor Cup on Sunday. We kicked off the day with one of our local junior league A-Grade teams, Asquith Magpies, taking on the Cromer Kingfishers. It was a strong display of local footy with the Magpies taking home the win convincingly 40 – 14.

As the live band heated up with some old school tunes, the fans made their way into North Sydney Oval proudly wearing their favourite jersey from across the decades. The hill filled in red & black and black & white jerseys as opposition fans mingled with a mutual respect of the fellow foundation clubs. Within two minutes from kick off, the ball sweeps to the right and lands in the hands of debut player Allan Fitzgibbons who scores his first of four tries for the game. Fitzgibbons has come across to the Bears from the Sydney Roosters, signing with the club for the remainder of the 2023 season. Ben Stevanovic misses the conversion and Bears are on the board at 4 – 0. Only four minutes later and the ball swifty makes its way to the opposite wing where Tui Katoa easily gets the ball down, conversion is waived away, and the score sits at 8 – 0. Shortly after, it looked like Fitzgibbon was in again when the Magpies busted out a try saving tackle. Magpies were on the charge, charging over the white line right under the posts to which they converted, and the gap closed to 8 – 6.

Magpies continued to push forward putting through a grubber on their try line that Josh Bergamin scooped up, with a risky pass in the in-goal offloaded to Katoa who legged it down the field, supported by Kieran Hayman who was tackled just twenty metres from the try line. Once again, the ball sweeps towards the hill, this time Bergamin backs himself with a dummy pass, finding the gap and adding the four points. Stevanovic converts and the Bears lead 14 – 6 with sixteen minutes to go in the first half. Bears, seeming unstoppable at this point, make another break with our captain Zach Dockar-Clay running on to a beautiful pass to clear the defence line. The black & white are quickly enclosing, Dockar-Clay neatly offloads to a supporting Jesse Marschke who dives under the posts giving Stevanovic an easy kick and extending the lead to 20 – 6. Unfortunately, Wests find a late burst and although a barge over attempt by the Magpies looks like a lost ball, the referee blows the whistle, and the visitors are back in the game. Only moments later the Magpies are in again and both teams head to the sheds with a two point margin, Bears 20 – Magpies 18.

A invigorated Bears run out after the half time rest and right from the kickoff you can see that this team meant business. Bears work their way down the field and are only metres from the try line, Tyran Ott does a switch back that sees big Reuben Porter spin over the white line and Stevanovic converts to extend the Bears lead to 26 – 18. Some fast ball work sees Fitzgibbon find the try line for his second time in the game, the kick is waived away, and the score sits at 30 – 18. The red & black show continues with some exciting footy on display that the crowd is loving. Marschke puts up a superb bomb, the Magpies fail to secure the ball and a flying Stevanovic cleans it up to add the four points.

Stevanovic converts his own try and the red & black extend the lead to 36 – 18. With just over ten minutes to go the Bears are on the attack again, some direct and swift passing gets the ball to Fitzgibbon who scores in the corner. The kick goes unconverted. Not done yet, Magpies fumble an offload while attacking the line, Fletcher Baker picks it up passes to Fitzgibbon who chips it past the looming white & black players, the ball pops up into Hayman’s hands who passes it back to Fitzgibbon and streaks down the field to secure his fourth try of the game – what a way to debut for the Bears! Stevanovic converts and Bears are back in the winner’s circle at 46 – 18.

An extremely entertaining game of footy with a huge effort by the red & black to keep the Magpies scoreless in the second half. Bears retain the Jason Taylor Cup for the 2023 season. Big thanks to everyone who came along to cheer on the boys!

Click below to watch the game highlights >>


For the second time this season we go up against the Sea Eagles, this time on their home soil. Kicking off at 3pm at HE Laybutt Field in Blacktown next Sunday. Out of the last ten clashes it’s an even split on wins, Bears are gunning to tip that scale in the red & black favour this weekend. Come on you Bears!

Check out Head Coach Jason Taylor’s team named to get the job done >>

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