North Sydney Bears 42 | Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0
Bears tries: James Tuitahi, Lachlan Lam 3, Curtis Johnston, Fletcher Baker, Bradley Deitz, Sitili Tupouniua
Bears Conversions: Brock Lamb 4/6, Drew Hutchison 1/2
A hat-trick to Lachlan Lam was the catalyst of a powerful performance from the North Sydney Bears as they recorded a comprehensive 42-0 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.
Highlights | Bears v Bulldogs
Lam marked his return from first-grade with three tries and two try-assists to inspire a relentless 80-minute display from the Bears as they recorded their third consecutive victory in the Canterbury Cup NSW.
The young five-eighth constantly threatened from start to finish as his combination with halves partner Brock Lamb flourished in the eight-tries-to-none rout while the Bulldogs slumped to their second loss of the season.
The performance was made all the more special with the foundation club enjoying ‘Old Bears Day’ at the historic venue, as the Bears matched their attacking masterclass with a gritty defensive performance to completely shutout the reigning premiers.
Lam credited the collective efforts of his team-mates on either side of the ball and paid tribute to the passionate Bears fans and ex-players who were watching on while also celebrating their rich history.
"I tried really hard today but I thought the boys were unreal today. It's Old Bears Day today and we spoke about putting in a strong performance for them because they came out and supported us," Lam told NSWRL.com.au.
"We showed them (what we can do) and hopefully made them proud.
"Our idea is that points will come but we want to build our game on defence and the effort areas. To keep them to zero was the main goal but the good things that happened (in attack) were the bonus."
While it was Lam who starred for the home side it was centre James Tuitahi who got them off to a flying start with a powerful effort from close-range in just the 4th minute of play.
But Lam then took it upon himself to extend their lead when he burst onto a short ball from 30m out before evading fullback Toa Mata’afa with sheer speed to give the Bears a comfortable 10-0 advantage.
Brock Lamb’s strong kicking game allowed the Bears to dominate field position throughout the entire first-half before he and Lam had a hand in Curtis Johnston’s four-pointer in the 29th minute.
It was was courtesy of two slick passes from the duo in a classy backline movement which allowed Johnston enough space on the left-hand side to cross for his sides third unanswered try.
The Bulldogs simply had no answer for the wave of momentum behind the Bears as Tuitahi latched onto a cross-field kick before offloading to Fletcher Baker to set a comfortable 20-0 advantage at half-time.
The Bears then took an unassailable lead early in the second-half as Captain Bradley Deitz buried his way over in the 46th minute before a deft grubber from Lamb gave the dynamic No.6 his second try just 10 minutes later.
Lam reaped the rewards when he sent Sitili Tupouniua through with a classy pass before supporting the break from his back-rower to cross under the posts for his hat-trick.
He iced an incredible individual performance when he returned to serve for Tupouniua with a pinpoint grubber in the 69th minute as the Bears surged to first place on the competition ladder.