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Bears awaken from “hibernation” to crush wilting Dogs

March 9 2013

Belmore, New South Wales

by Jodie Newell

The North Sydney Bears have begun the 2013 VB New South Wales Cup competition in style with a comprehensive win over the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Oval.

Played in wilting heat, it was the Bears who were the stronger, leaving the Dogs mauled in a punishing affair at 38-16.

Norths were shored up with the inclusion of South Sydney Rabbitohs players in Dave Tyrell and Jason Clark, whilst lining up for the Dogs were first graders in Trent Hodkinson and Tim Lafai.

The first part of the game looked like a typical opening round encounter with both sides making several handling errors. It was Norths who kept their heads and soon posted a respectable 14-4 lead.

Bears Luke Keary and full back Justin Hunt were giving the Bulldog defenders enormous problems, with crisp passing and fast attack. To the Dogs credit they ran out the last part of the first half with Joel Romelo and Hodkinson working hard in keeping their side in the game. The Dogs were able to score in the final four minutes of the half and went into the sheds keeping in touch with North Sydney 14-10

Both sides would have appreciated the break, with a hot sun continuing to beat down on the Belmore playing surface. Tom Burgess for the North Sydney Bears did not play in the second half due a minor ankle strain. The Bears kept Burgess off the park so as not to exacerbate further injury.

It was Norths who began the second half in better fashion. Again it was the dynamic duo of Justin Hunt and Luke Keary who found their way through a lack lustre Bulldogs defence. In the try of the day, Luke Keary accepted a lovely through ball from Hunt, who then forced his way through the Dogs defence with a beautiful fend and found himself over the try line. Apasai Koroisao converted under the posts and it was Norths up 20-10

The Bulldogs were getting frustrated from the continual pressure being applied from the North Sydney Bears. That frustration became all too much for Dogs playmaker, Joel Romelo who gave away a silly penalty. Norths cashed in on the excellent field position with Luke Keary finessing beautifully to again find himself over the line for a try. Koroisao made no mistake on the conversion, 26-10 for the Bears.

Two more tries were added to the Norths score, including another combination effort from Hunt and Keary. The Dogs were wilting in the afternoon heat and had no answers to a tough Norths team who kept up their forward and defensive pressure.

Romelo scored a late consolation try for the Bulldogs, but it was only academic. The North Sydney Bears went on to post their first win of the season in fine style.

Despite hot conditions, both sides tackled fiercely at Belmore Sports Ground

image: 2013 NewellMediaGroup

Final score:  North Sydney Bears 38 defeated Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 16

Tries Bears: C Centrone 2, L Keary 2, J Hunt, G Waddell, J Starling

Tries Bulldogs: D Abou-Sleiman, J Romelo, L Burr

Conversions Bears:  A Koroisau 5

Conversions Bulldogs: T Hodkinson 2

Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski

Touch Judges :  Steve Ellison  Richard Daizli

At Belmore Sports ground