The North Sydney Bears ran away with a convincing 42-22 win over the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs in the VB NSW Cup, with winger Curtis Johnston bagging four tries at Sharks Stadium.


Johnston, in only his second game back in the NSW Cup, was devastating from the wing, picking up the games first three tries in the first half, and scoring one in the second.


The Bears, 12-0 up by this point thanks to Johnstons three unconverted tries, ripped in to the lacklustre Bulldogs with front rower Tom Burgess living up to his family reputation by smashing in to Martin Taupau with the ball in hand. Taupau was assisted from the field but returned mid-way through the second half.


Canterbury hit back five minutes before half time through Tim Lafai, but a wonderful combination from the Bears between first graders Dylan Farrell and Justin Hunt put Darren Nicholls over. With Dylan Farrell missing all three of his first conversion attempts, Justin Hunt was thrown the ball. Hunt didnt disappoint, scoring the first conversion of the afternoon to take the Bears into the sheds, ahead 18-4.


The Bulldogs got themselves back in the game 10 minutes in to the second half drawing first blood through Kris Keating, who showed great skill to crash over to bring the score to 18-10.


The rejuvenated Bulldogs tried taking advantage of the momentum from the try, forcing a quick repeat set, but were unable to capitalise after second rower Lachlan Burr put the ball down in good field position.


But minutes later, Norths back rower Bennett Leslie made no mistake when he crashed over 15 metres from the sticks, Justin Hunt adding the extras for the Bears to lead 22-10.


Curtis Johnston then extended his try-scoring tally to four for the afternoon with just under 16 minutes to go. Justin Hunt again converted to bring the score to 26-10.


The Bulldogs soon hit back though with a converted try set up by an intercept. But Shaune Corrigan had other ideas. With the Bulldogs failing to number up on the short side Corrigan touched down near the corner post. Hunt maintained his 100% goal-kicking record for the afternoon, converting the Corrigan try with a screamer that hit the upright but still went through for the Bears to lead 36-16.


Norths werent done though. From a standing start, Hunt showed great strength to push his way over, exposing some weak Dogs defence before converting to take his personal tally of points to 14 for the afternoon, and the score to 42-16.


With the full-time siren gone, a controversial consolation try to the Bulldogs through Brett Lane ended the match 42-20.


Bears coach Wayne Lambkin was pleased with his teams performance, but rued some lapses in concentration.


Bit disappointed with patches theres moments in our games where we just take the foot off a little bit, said Lambkin.


But overall, over our last month weve lost a few so its nice to get back with a win.


North Sydney 42 (Johnston 4, Hunt, Corrigan, Leslie, Nicholls tries; Hunt 5 goals)


Canterbury Bankstown 20 (Lafai, Sila, Keating, Lane tries; Templeman 2 goals)