The North Sydney Bears have leapfrogged the Wests Tigers on the NSW Cup ladder by defeating the Western Suburbs club by 26-8 at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.
After conceding the first try of the match, recent first grade debutant John Olive hit back for the Bears with two four-pointers of his own out wide to swing momentum back in the direction of the red and blacks to make it 8-4 after 19 minutes.
With Nicholls missing the first two difficult conversion attempts, more points were needed, and they would come in the form of halfback Cody Walker. Nicholls added the extras to take the advantage out to 14-4.
Virtually on the stroke of half-time, Cameron McInnes crossed for a four pointer of his own with Nicholls again adding the extras to take the teams to the sheds with the Bears leading 20-4.
Wests came out and started the second half well though, scoring the first try of the half after just eight minutes before a struggle ensued that would see both teams miss opportunities to go in again.
But the Bears would close out the match when Cody Walker grabbed his second of the afternoon in the 65th minute, with Nicholls doing the honours by converting to close out the match by 26-8.
Bears 26 (John Olive 2, Cody Walker 2, Cameron McInnes tries; Darren Nicholls, 3 goals)
Tigers 8 (Keith Lulia, Kurtis Rowe tries)