The North Sydney Bears recorded their second draw of the season against Mounties on Saturday –the teams fighting out a `34 all draw at North Sydney Oval in Round 17.
Norths led late in the match, but were unable to hold on against a fast-finishing Mounties side who managed two converted tries in the final 10 minutes to draw level.
The match saw the successful return of centre Kirisome Auva’a, who capped off his return with a second half try.
Mounties got their day underway by drawing first blood of the afternoon after just five minutes. But Bears fullback Latrell Schaumkel would put the red and blacks back on level pecking with a four-pointer of his own at the 15 minute mark along with Darren Nicholls’ conversion.
It was a case of tit for tat in the 24th minutes when Mounties went in for their second to make it 10-6, but it would again be Schaumkel who would claw the Bears back to 10 apiece, before scoring a third and by the 35th minute, Darren Nicholls was adding a converted try of his own to the ledger to make the score 22-10 leading in to half-time.
On the resumption, five-eighth Cody Walker added his name to the score-sheet just nine minutes into the second stanza. Nicholls was unable to convert, although a later penalty goal would see the Bears reach 28 points.
With the Bears looking well in control, Mounties mounted a come-back to get themselves within four points of the lead with 10 minutes in the match remaining courtesy of two tries.
But in the 70th minute, Auva’a struck out wide to seemingly all but seal the match at 34-22. Mounties however would have the final say of the match, with two converted tries finishing proceedings at 34 apiece.
Bears 34 (Latrell Schaumkel 3, Cody Walker, Kirisome Auva'a, Darren Nicholls tries; Nicholls 5 goals)
Mounties 34 (Gus Aiga 2, Chevi Ellis, Bill Tupou, Stuart Mills, Jeremy Hawkins tries; Mitch Cornish 5 goals)