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The North Sydney Bears hosted their first home game of the season at the picturesque North Sydney Oval on Sunday afternoon in front of their vocal supporters, who turned out in great numbers.

The Bears fielded a strong side with the likes of Nathan Peats, Michael Crocker, Justin Hunt, Dylan Farrell and Jason Clark all getting a start, whilst the Wyong Roos were hoping to kick start their season with a win over a side who have only lost once so far this season.

Wyong were first to strike after a Darren Nicholls high tackle on winger Allen Mulia Malau, gave them a repeat set inside the Bears 20 metres. North Sydneys defence couldnt hold after yet another penalty and Leivaha Pulu broke through the defence to score. Brad Murray converted and got the Roos off to the perfect start.

A great kick return from fullback Justin Hunt had the Bears and the front foot and back to back penalties helped their cause as they leveled up the scoreboard minutes later. Dylan Farrell showed his class and strength as he charged onto a flat ball from Hunt and smashed through the defence, which left prop Ronnie Alovili nursing a sore head, on his way to the tryline. Farrell converted his own try make it 6-6.

On the back of another penalty, the Bears hit the lead after great set play close to the line. Keary gave the ball to Thomas Burgess, who drew the defence before giving it back to Keary who then threw a long ball to Hunt, who created space through sheer speed, as he raced to the sideline to score. Farrell missed the conversion attempt but the Bears had hit the lead 10-6 after 25 minutes.

North Sydney were nearly in again after a great kick chase led by Luke Keary forced Grant Nelson back into his in-goal. However, an error from Michael Crocker close to the line prevented the Bears from extending the lead.

The Bears defence wasnt allowing any easy chances for the Wyong team, but a spark of brilliance from their halfback nearly led to a try. Brad Murray put in a midfield chip early in the tackle count and regathered but was dragged down by Justin Hunt to nullify the attack.

The Bears had a number of attacking chances but couldnt convert their possession due to a number of errors and some tough defence from the opposition. They were gifted a chance however, after a knock on from Junior Tia Kilifi 30 metres out from the Bears line. North Sydneys halfback and five-eighth combined with some crisp passes to set up Shaune Corrigan, who spun out of a tackle at speed to cross the tryline in the 36th minute. Farrell made no mistake with the conversion and it was 16-6.

Wyong nearly hit back on the stroke of halftime when their skipper Mitch Williams put in a chip over the top of the defence inside his own and half and got the perfect bounce to charge onto the ball. Williams raced downfield and drew the fullback before giving a ball to Tia Kalifi however, the backrower couldnt hang onto the ball. The Bears picked up the dropped ball and countered instantly with a long ball to Buckett giving the winger space to race toward the tryline but the Wyong defence recovered and forced a kick, which was put out of bounds on the halftime siren.

The Bears started the second half strongly and Luke Keary forced a restart after a perfectly timed kick held up in the in-goal. The Bears took advantage of the field position through quick hands from Hunt, Keary and Corrigan created an overlap for winger Buckett to run toward the corner and score, much to the delight of the home fans. Dylan Farrell nailed the sideline conversion and extended the lead to 22-6.

A knock on from the ensuing restart and a penalty for holding the player down gave Wyong an opportunity to hit back. Powerful winger Allen Mulia Malau looked to have scored but was ruled to have lost control of the ball close to the line.

Strong hitups from Thomas Burgess and Matt Hyland had the Roos on the backfoot and Kearys short ball to Hunt put the fullback through a gap in the middle of the defence just inside the Wyong half. Hunt, who looked dangerous with every touch of the ball, drew the opposing fullback before giving it back to Keary, who backed up after setting up the break, to score between the posts. Farrell had no problem converting to take the lead to 28-6.

It didnt take long for the Bears to attack Wyong inside their own half, however a loose ball was picked up by winger Arthur Brown who raced 70 metres to have the Bears desperately trying to recover. It was a stroke of luck however, that led to the try as Brad Murrays kicked bounced back off the upright, straight into Nathan Clarkes hands to score the try. Murray converted and the lead was reduced to 28-12.

North Sydney came close to scoring numerous times in the second half. First through a cross-field bomb from Darren Nicholls, however, Etu Uaisele plucked the ball out of Mitchell Bucketts hands to save a try. The Bears looked to have scored after Farrell scooped up a loose ball and ran 80 metres before being tackled. Farrell, who was impressive throughout the game, was also ruled to have thrown a forward pass that denied debutant winger Matt Evans a try.

The game finished at 28-12 with the Bears making it four wins in a row, while Wyong remain winless in 2013.

Bears coach Wayne Lambkin wasnt overly happy with his teams performance.

Well take the win but our completion rate in the second half was terrible," Lambkin said.

"It was ugly but hopefully well learn from that.

"If we controlled the second half a bit better we could have ran away with it.

North Sydney Bears 28 (Dylan Farrell, Shaune Corrigan, Mitchell Buckett, Justin Hunt, Luke Keary tries; Dylan Farrell 4 goals)


Wyong Roos 12
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South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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