Sunday was a day of high emotions. Our Harvey Norman Women’s team faced off against Mounties in their semi-final at Leichhardt Oval. This game was a do-or-die final, Bears had been in this position before during last season finals series, and knew what was on the line. The training was solid, the team was strong, the line up was stellar and having finished as Minor Premiers the red & black were considered the favourites to take the win and head into the Grand Final. Unfortunately, devastatingly, it wasn’t to be. The game started as a defensive battle with no points awarded until almost 20 minutes in when Rikeya Horne burst across the line to put the Bears in the lead. Mounties swiftly retaliated and took control of the remainder of the first half, running in two converted tries and taking them to the sheds up 12 – 4.

Second half kicked off and Mounties took the first points pushing the score line out to 18 – 4 with less than 25 minutes to go. Bears didn’t give up and fought back chasing the win and began to regain control of the game, keeping Mounties scoreless from here on in. Raecene McGregor was next in and Kirra Dibb converted to take the score to 18 – 10, the team lifted and the massive task at hand seemed possible again. Only moments later Rikeya Horne took her second try of the game, Dibb converted, and we had a 2-point ball game on our hands. Bears pushed hard for the last 10 mins, the determination for the team to go all the way was evident across the field, but heartbreakingly the siren blew, and Bears went down by one conversion. A hard way to end such a successful season for our mighty women’s team. Congratulations to all of the players, Head Coach Rob Capizzi and his coaching team on a strong competition. We look forward to coming back bigger and bolder in 2024.

From Leichhardt to North Sydney Oval, our NSW Cup team took on the Newcastle Knights in our ANZAC Round on home soil. As the two Cup teams walked out on field side by side with the Australian Royal Navy (Tridents) and the UK Royal Marine teams, the crowd stood, and silence fell across Bear Park. Michael Hyde, son of Bears legend Frank Hyde, read the Ode of Remembrance, followed by SHORE school boy, Angus Holliday, playing the Last Post on the bugle. Not a sound was heard during the minute silence and the importance of remembering those who have served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations was felt by all in attendance, lest we forget.

The game kicked off and within minutes the ball shifted wide and Junior Pauga got the Bears on the board with his first of a hattrick for the game. It wasn’t long before Marschke lobbed a long ball, Porter flicked it out and the ball made it’s way into Pauga’s hands for his second of the game.to which Jesse Marschke converted. The points halted for the remainder of the half as both teams buckled down defensively and barraged any attacking play. The half time hooter blew with the Bears up 10 – 0. A refreshed and determined side took to the field and again Bears were on the attack, running towards the famous fig tree. Regan Hughes took the ball up the centre and under the white posts, followed quickly by Pauga with his third try of the game. Bears finally relinquished the first opposition points with 17 minutes to go, Knights scoring off a bomb in goal. Bears regained control, Marschke chipped the ball through and Josh Bergamin came up with the goods off a bounce of the ball, Marschke also converted to extend the red & black lead. Not done yet, Knights do a short kick off, Toa Mata’afa secures the ball and gets an offload off to Reuben Porter who runs it in. With six minutes left on the clock and a pumped-up Bears crowd preparing for a win, Marschke makes a break and legs it down field, Tui Katoa is on his shoulder to take a neat pass and finish the job, with a big smile on his face. Whistle blows and Bears take their 6th win of the season defeating the Knights 32 – 6. A brilliant way to end a fantastic afternoon at Bear Park. Check out the game highlights below >>


Bears head to Henson Park this Saturday afternoon to take on the Bluebags in our first game of the Frank Hyde Shield for 2023. Jets have been playing solidly and are sitting just above the Bears on the ladder, only on for and against, so the stage is set for a great game. Check out the team named to get the job done >>

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