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The Rock-itt : August 2011
July was certainly a mixed bag for our Bears as they managed to get a few games under their belts despite the wet conditions which have plagued us this winter. We also had a bye early in the month so a bit of respite before we headed to Gladesville and Tunks Park on July 10th to take on Willoughby. On a cold windy Sunday afternoon the Bears ran onto the paddock still not having notched a win so far this season. But to make things worse one of the Bears’ key players, halfback Brett Allpress, who had been carrying a niggling injury, had to pull out an hour before kick-off and without Brett on the field, the Bears knew they would be doing it tough. After the kick-off the Bears immediately began grafting their way toward Willoughby’s line exerting extreme pressure and it soon payed off as second rower, Dan Brown crashed over to give them first points on the board. The game continued moving from one end of the field to the other before Willoughby hit back scoring their first try of the match. Now the pressure was really on as both sides battled it out for territory and a great break away solo try by Bears centre, Ryan Lavender saw them poke their nose in front again with the score at 10 points to 6. But as it happens even with the best of first grade teams in the NRL, there was a lapse in concentration by the Bears which saw Willoughby run in another try and with extra points from a penalty conversion both teams left the field at half-time with Willoughby up by 14 to 10. Bears coach, Ryan Picard lay the law down as oranges were taken in an effort to make the Bears realise that they needed to pull their socks up if they wanted to walk away with 2 competition points and although they showed great commitment, the second half turned into a disaster for the luckless Bears. By now the wind had picked up and was in Willoughby’s favour and they used it to advantage. Kicking high with the breeze at their tail Willoughby ran in another 3 tries converting 2. For the Bears, although they fought gallantly, they were hammered, having Dan Brown, Hayden Roachford and Bobby Haeri sustaining injuries as well as Luke Stewart needing ambulance attention for a neck injury cutting the game short with 10 minutes left on the clock. The good news is Luke Stewart has been cleared of any serious injury. Eventual victors were W illoughby 28 points to Bears 10. Bears’ Best and Fairest’ went to centre, Ryan Lavender (3), Fullback Tevita Ryan (2,) Front Rower Jeff Goddan (1.) Players’ Player, Ryan Lavender. Coaches Award, Liku Kifooti who has just returned from injury and put in a captain’s knock. Next game in July for the Bears was against Berowra at Warrina Oval which proved to be a tough but very fruitful encounter. On another cold miserable Sunday afternoon with the heavens drizzling rain, the Bears ran out against Berowra determined not to allow themselves back to back losses. After a stirring speech by skipper, Liku Kifooti at their training session during the week, and encouraging advice from coach Ryan Picard before the kick-off, the Bears were very willing to make this one theirs. oiled machine, skilfully and methodically, with Charlie Leiketo, Seth Van Dijk, Joel Parsons and Jeff Goddon leading the charge, knocking the opposition over and destroying any moves that they tried to implement. Soon their solid defence paid off, repelling Berowra’s attack and gaining possession. Now it was the Bears’ turn to attack and take the fight to the opposition. Finally having the opportunity to attack, the Bears made thrusting raids on the Berowra line with Half, Dan Harris shuffling the ball in all directions as the likes of Bears players, Brett Allpress, Ryan Lavender and Chris Percival broke the line. It was only a matter of time before the Bears would put the ball down over Berowra’s goal line and after accepting a short pass, big second rower, Dan Brown crashed over to give the Bears first blood. But now the fire inside the Bears’ players was lit and they were running hot. It wasn’t long before the Bears went in again as Brett Allpress showed a pair of clean heels with some brilliant footwork to blitz the opposition defence, The Bears kicked-off then defended as if their lives depended on it dishing out some big hits as Berowra tried to carry the ball down field. Showing their best performance in a long time, the Bears went about their game plan like a well- running in a great try beneath the posts. Chris Percival had brought his kicking boots to the ground and as well as converting the two tries, booted home a penalty goal just before the half-tim e