Two converted tries in the final 10 minutes helped the Bears to a win in a close encounter with the Mounties at North Sydney Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Highlights | Bears v Mounties
Both sides were up off the line quick and strong in defense to start the game before Sam Verrills goose stepped his way to the line for the opening try of the match. Brock Lamb added the extra two points to put the home team up 6-0.
The Mounties bounced back almost instantly with Ata Hingano intercepting a ball and running 90 metres before unselfishly offloaded for Reubenn Rennie to seal the deal for his team.
The scoring was more free-flowing in the second half, Royce Hunt having an immediate impact five minutes in after he dived over the line with Andre Niko landing a tough conversion to put Mounties in front 12-6.
Bears winger Bernard Lewis hit back straight away with a brilliant individual effort where he strode down the sideline, faked an inside pass before beating the defence to score under the posts.
The Mounties took an opportunity to break the deadlock when Niko converted a penalty kick from right in front to put them up 14-12 with only 15 minutes remaining.
The Bears re-took the lead after Max Bailey soared high to snatch a ball out of the air and score underneath the posts with Lamb converting to extend the lead to 18-14.
In a tense, hard-hitting final five minutes of play, the Mounties came close on a few occasions but it was the Bears who sealed the win after Tom Freebairn strode over next to the posts in the dying minutes to make it 24-14.
North Sydney Bears 24 | Mounties 14
Bears tries: Sam Verrills, Bernard Lewis, Max Bailey, Tom Freebairn
Bears Conversions: Brock Lamb 4/4
Mounties Tries: Reubenn Rennie, Royce Hunt
Mounties Conversions: Andre Niko 2/2
Mounties Penalty Goals: Andre Niko 1/1