The North Sydney Bears are coming off a fantastic win over the then competition front-running Mounties last weekend, and are eager to continue that form into their clash against the Wests Tigers on Saturday.
It is ‘Family Fun Day’ at North Sydney Oval this weekend, and Bears’ coach Ben Gardiner urged all black-and-red fans to come down and enjoy the day, where various South Sydney Rabbitohs players will be there to meet and greet fans.
“One of the things that we started to do last year was we started to understand we needed to do more on game day to try and get some more people to come through the gates to watch live,” Gardiner told NSWRL.com.au.
“We know we’ve got a lot of fans out there through the Bears and South Sydney, so being able to put these family fun days on and activities of the like really helps us get some people through the gates.
“When the players have that those extra supporters in the crowd wearing the red and black, it just gives the players a little extra boost that could be the difference between winning and losing on the day.”
The Wests Tigers have dealt with major personnel changes in the past few weeks, with Josh Drinkwater moving to England and Asipeli Fine signing with the Bulldogs.
Gardiner envisions a Tigers side full of youth and enthusiasm, and predicts a high-energy contest come Saturday.
“They’ve got some young players coming in, which will be a real boost for their energy and enthusiasm that comes to the side,” Gardiner said.
“Like most weeks we pride our game on high energy and high enthusiasm ourselves so I think the side that can put the most energy into the game is probably going to come out on top.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us because they’ve gone through those changes, they’ve bought in a few kids from the under-20s that are really good players and future NRL players.”
The Bears currently sit in fifth position on the ladder, and their win over Mounties last week will almost certainly do wonders for their confidence.
“It was one of the first games where we had really low errors in the first half, and I think the possession we had in the first half and the fact we had less errors probably set the game up for us,” Gardiner said.
“Two quality sides in an NRL quality game I thought, but it just comes down to how well you hold the ball and execute your plays.”