In a match highlighted by good individual performances, sin binnings and a couple of send offs, Norths got themselves to within 12 points of the win. An inability to convert good field position into points contributed to the loss.
Balmain opened the scoring with two converted tries, before one of Norths best players of the night, Brett Smith scored from the halfway line. Joel Burraston converted to make it 12-6. The intensity moved up a notch with both teams resorting to fisticuffs, which resulted in 2 Tigers sent off, and for Norths Darren Horne sent off and Greg Nichols sin-binned. Speedster Ricky Morris immediately took advantage to score from dummy half after good lead up from Bears number 7 Joel Burraston, with Joel converting, 12 all. But the Tigers replied with their own try and took the advantage at the break 18-12.
The second half began with Norths defending multiple raids by the Tigers, eventually succumbing which saw the Tigers kick away to a 24-12 lead. The Bears then went on attack with tricky footwork from number 3 Greg Nichols and a great combination from Ricky Morris and Brett Smith. Some very effective bustling runs from winger Mohammed Alhaje, a break from Mitch Williams and a scoot from Greg Nichols gave the Bears a much needed try. With a conversion from Joel Burraston the Bears were within 6 points of a win.
With a penalty resulting in the sin binning of a Tigers player, the match looked there for the Bears taking. But despite some impressive ball handling skills, some poor last minute options out wide gave them no further points. Running in a final try the Balmain Ryde-Eastwood team took the match 30-18.
Forward Olly Tiatia made a ton of yards for his team. Both Brett Smith and Greg Nichols showed skill and effort in the centres. Mohammed Alhaje made some bustling runs in attack. While Joel Burraston and Mitch Williams worked hard at dummy half.
Next Sunday [Mothers