North Sydney Bears 10 | CRL Newcastle 8

Bears tries: Sera Kaukiono, Shontelle Stowers

Bears Conversions: Kirra Dibb 1/2

CRL Newcastle tries: Isabelle Kelly 2

CRL Newcastle Conversions: 0/2

The Bears Women’s team were to first team to feature on Old Bears Day as they were looking to make it three from three to start the season.

The Bears got off to a strong start scoring a try in the far right corner in the 8th minute of the match. Sera Kaukiono went over in the corner after some slick hands through the back line, a nice team effort.

The match turned into an arm wrestle from that point on. We repeatedly held Newcastle out with through some solid defensive efforts all over the ground. We twice forced errors when they were only metres out from our line.

Later in the first half, Newcastle managed to make their way back to 10 metres out from the try line where the Bears edge defence was really put to the test by some very experienced rep players Isabelle Kelly and Holli Wheeler but the Bears’ defensive line was strong, shut them down and forced more errors to roll into a very solid get out set.

Brit Merlo and Aliti Namoce had some impressive go forward picking hot spots to hit in order to get that roll on so the Bears could play attacking football in Newcastle’s 40m. The forward pack owned the middle of the field all game.

Late in the first half we lost Tuila and Britt to injury, followed by Lexi in the second half but the girls regathered and adjusted well and kept the pressure on.

It wasn’t until the 50th minute that the next try of the game was scored, Isabelle Kelly went over for Newcastle in the left corner, the kick was missed which kept the Bears in the lead 6-4.

We hit back via a try to Stowers with only 5 minutes left in the match which looked to seal the win for the Bears 10-6 but a try in the final minute to Newcastle gave them an opportunity to level the scores with a kick from the sideline after the final siren.

The kick was again missed and the Bears won 10-8. This win was a result of true team effort and the middle defensive effort.  The forwards were strong all match, with repeat effort after repeat effort.

The back three really took on the job taking high kick pressure like pros and pushing the edges with strong runs and determination.

A solid foundation to move forward with for the rest of the season. The Bears will enjoy two weekends off before we take on the Rabbitohs at 1:30pm at Erskineville Park on April 28.