The North Sydney Bears scored an impressive Saturday afternoon win over the Illawarra Cutters in Round 20 of the NSW Cup at North Sydney Oval.
Doubles to Cody Walker and Latrell Schaumkel helped the Bears to a much-needed victory as they look to finish the season in the race for the finals – the Bears now sitting in ninth place on the competition ladder.
The Bears got on the front footy early when prop-forward Zane Musgrove crashed over for the side’s first of the afternoon with Darren Nicholls adding the extras.
The Cutters responded with a converted try of their own through Craig Garvey in the 17th minute, but five minutes later, Cody Walker raced in for the first of his two tries. Nicholls’ conversion gave the red and blacks a 12-6 lead.
It was a case of tit for tat in the 28th minute when Cutters hooker Garvey grabbed his second to equalise at 12 apiece.
Four minutes before half-time, Bears powerhouse-prop, Nathan Brown, crashed over to re-take the lead. Nicholls converted and before long was doing likewise for the first of Latrell Schaumkel’s tries one minute from half-time to take the teams to the sheds with the Bears leading 22-12.
After the break, Nicholls wasted no time in getting his team back on the board when he scored a converted try of his own just three minutes into the half.
But the Cutters were about to mount a mini-revival when they raced in two tries to come within eight points of the Bears at 28-20.
The Bears increased the intensity and it was Schaumkel and Walker who would be the ultimate beneficiary’s when they both grabbed their second four-pointers of the afternoon – Nicholls’ conversions making the score 40-20.
Paul Carter would put the finishing touches on the scoreboard for the Bears to take their final tally to 44, while the Cutters finished off on 32 points.
Bears 44 (Latrell Schaumkel 2, Cody Walker 2, Nathan Brown, Paul Carter, Zane Musgrove, Darren Nicholls tries; Darren Nicholls 6 goals)
Cutters 32 (Craig Garvey 2, Peni Botiki 2, Junior Vaivai, Luke Page tries; Blake Wallace 4 goals)