• 2023 TEAM LISTS

    ROUND 25: NSW CUP
    BEARS V PANTHERS

A quiet buzz heading into our Round 24 clash against the Roosters was the knowledge that we needed just one more win to take out the 2023 KOE NSW Cup Minor Premiership. Everyone knew it, but no one in the club wanted to jinx it by saying it out loud. A feat that the Bears have not achieved in this competition since 2008. We were up for the challenge and being our Foundation Round, it seemed a great opportunity to take out the title.

We started the day with local junior league team Lane Cove Tigers U17s convincingly defeating the Redfern All Blacks in their semi-final game. Good luck in your next finals games boys! Although the weather threatened to unleash all day, the rain mostly held off and North Sydney Oval did what it does best when the Bears are playing, looked picture perfect. Foundation Round saw us take on our partner club and fellow foundation club, the Sydney Roosters for the second time this season. We were set for a big battle knowing that many of these players have trained and played together, many from both sides have worn the red & black and vice versa and all were out to prove a point. Sam Walker returned to pull on the Bears jersey, his first time since 2021, and his first game back post-injury in months, oddly taking on his own club.

From the kickoff it was a physical game and the first 40 minutes proved to be low scoring as both sides showed up to play. Corey Allan, an NRL quality fullback, got the Roosters on the board first with Jaxson Paulo, another NRL star, converting to take the lead 0 – 6. It didn’t take long for Bears to find the try line with our speedy winger Allan Fitzgibbon grounding the ball in the corner to a cheering hill of fans. Sam Walker converted, and the scores were locked at 6 a piece, remaining so for the next 20 minutes and taking the teams to the sheds in a stalemate.

Taking the time to settle down and listen to Head Coach Jason Taylor at half time, the Bears came out on field with determination. Within five minutes of kick off, Walker sets up a play near the line and Eli El-Zakhem, dragging 3 tri-colour defenders with him, takes the ball to the white line. Walker converts and the Bears take the lead, up 12 – 6. Near on twenty minutes of endless fight from both sides goes by, each team pushing the limits, mistakes made, attempts in attack halted, and big defensive efforts on show. Finally, Tui Katoa makes a line break and grounds the ball in front of the Mollie Dive Stand. Again Walker converts and the Bears lead extends to 18 – 6. Bears continue to push, Kurt De Luis makes a good break but is brought down before the line by a pack of Roosters. Fitzgibbon dives for the corner but the touchies flag is raised and the try is disallowed. The Roosters fight on, and with seven minutes to go bust through the Bears defensive line bringing the score to 18 – 10. Bears hold on and take the Round 24 win and also confirm the 2023 Knock On Effect NSW Cup Minor Premiership! It’s taken fifteen years, and a massive focus from our football department and players over the season to secure the title. No better place to take it out than at home at Bear Park.

ROUND 25: BEARS V PANTHERS

Not since 2019 have we defeated the Penrith Panthers in the KOE NSW Cup and this Sunday we are up for the challenge. Panthers are sitting in 6th place and need a win to jump into the top 5 to make it through to the finals series. It is always an all-mighty clash when we take on the black cats and will be some great footy on display from both sides. Come on down to Bear Park, enjoy some great footy, fun complimentary kids’ activities, settle on the hill with a Bear Park Brew and cheer on the mighty Bears this Sunday.

This Sunday we kick off game day bright and early with gates opening at 9am and our local Junior League Minis Grand Final Day Gala starting at 9.30am. We cannot wait to welcome all the U6, U7 and U8s from across the North Sydney District to Bear Park for this fun day.

It is also our Community Partners Round and we have invited a number of local not-for-profit organisations to come along and showcase the great work they do in the community. Drop by their stalls, say hello and find out more about what they do.

Kick for Cash is back too! We have a pool of $5000 to give away thanks to the good people at Norths Collective. Two lucky people will be drawn at random on the day to kick to win $1000 each. Find out more by clicking the image below. We will also be hosting our first Kick for Community in which the local community groups have the opportunity to kick to win a slice of $3000! Cheer on all of our lucky kickers at half time of the main game.

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

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