Saturday saw the battle for Palarang continue with the Bears verse Tigers in round 13 of the George Tooke Shield. It was also the Bears reunion game with former Bears travelling from far & wide to cheer the current Bears on.
Bungendore were first to score but the Bears instantly hit back with fullback Eddie Jenkins crossing. The Bears intensity lifted and the boys started to get a roll on. But the roll stopped when the intensity went a little too far and the referee sent crowd favourite Jamie Cooper to the bin for 10 minutes. Down to 12 men the Bears were forced to defend their line own line with Bungendore dominating possession. The Tigers threw everything at the Bears in those 10 minutes but the line held strong. With the first half winding down & the Bears back to 13 men the defensive toll showed & Bungendore finally crossed taking the lead 10-4 at the half.
The second half opened with Bungendore crossing early. Braidwood didn’t drop their heads and showed patience with the ball. They forced a goal line drop out & Junior Lafaele stormed onto the ball steam rolling 3 Tigers defenders to put the Bears back within striking distance at 14-8.
The game turned into a grinding match with both sides struggling in the heavy muddy conditions after a week of rain. Braidwood had plenty of possession but a few failed penalty kicks for touch & dropped ball cost them with Bungendore closing the game with 3 late tries. The final score was 28-8 but again the score didn’t show the closeness of the contest. If the boys can cut out some of the errors the result could have easily been reversed.
The 3 points went to halfback Jake Neddrie who tackled himself to a standstill. 2 points to Eddie Jenkins who broke a tackle every time he touched the ball. Junior Lafaele took home the 1 point providing a great Eric Grothe impersonation in one of the best individual tries of the year.
Big thanks goes to Biggsy for filing in as touch judge & Dougal for announcing the game & running the auction at the club afterwards. The reunion night was a huge success with the old boys on hand already talking about next year’s event.
This Saturday the Bears travel to Canberra to take on Boomunulla in hopes of keeping their semi final dreams alive. Kickoff is at 2pm.
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