The North Sydney Bears have defeated the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36-16 to provisionally elevate themselves into the NSW Cup top eight on 22 competition points.
After going to the break down by 12-6, the Bears put on a controlled second half showing to signal their intentions for the rest of the NSW Cup competition.
After an opening 15 minutes that saw the Bears keep the Dogs well inside their own side of half-way, Canterbury replacement George Tsikrikas barged his way over the line by spinning out of a tackle to plant the ball down. Chase Stanley added the extras to make it 6-0.
Not long afterwards, a fruitless attacking raid from the Bears saw the men in red and black turn the ball over on the last tackle. But with the Dogs attempting to get out of their own red-zone, the Bears showed brilliant defence to push the blue and whites back into the in-goal to force a line drop-out.
The play would prove vital two tackles later when Darren Nicholls kicked to the corner of Bernard Gregorius – the unmarked winger plucking the ball out of the air to score an amazing try. Nicholls added the extras just inside touch to level the scores at six apiece.
The Bulldogs would hit back though through Levi Dodd – the back-rower benefitting from standing out in the centres to post points for his side. Stanley made no mistake with the touch-line conversion to make the score 12-6 to take the teams to the sheds.
On the resumption, the Bears scored another brilliant try, this time through Latrell Schaumkel – the replacement beating three Bulldogs defenders before stretching out his arm to score. Nicholls converted to again equalise at 12 apiece.
Schaumkel was at it again two minutes later when a mistake from the Bulldogs gifted the Bears possession in good field position – Schaumkel finishing off a back-line movement to take the lead for the first time in the match. Nicholls was on song yet again with the boot from the sideline to make it 18-12.
Schaumkel incredibly made it three in a row from the very next set when he took a brilliant short-side ball from Paul Carter, before racing the remaining 40 metres to extend North Sydney’s lead. Skipper Nicholls was having a brilliant day with the boot, adding the extras again to make it 24-12 after 53 minutes.
One set later, Norths attacked the left hand side yet again and came up with points through Kirisome Auva’a – the Rabbitoh bettering the position slightly before planting the ball down. Nicholls made it five from five to make it 30-12.
Stanley got his side back on the board when he dived over in the corner after conceding 22 un-answered points to make it 32-16.
With the clock winding down, Nicholls put the final nail into the Bulldogs coffin when Darren Nicholls crossed behind the posts to clinch victory. Nicholls added the final points to take the final score to 36-16.
Bears 36 (Bernard Gregorius, Latrell Schaumkel 3, Kirisome Auva’a, Darren Nicholls tries; Darren Nicholls 6 goals)
Bulldogs 16 (George Tsikrikas, Levi Dodd, Chase Stanley, tries; Chase Stanley 2 goals)