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By Jackson Russell at GIO Stadium

Mounties continued their quest for a top four finish with a punishing 40-0 win over North Sydney Bears at GIO Stadium Canberra on Saturday afternoon.

Mounties were down on personnel after a number on their players were called into the Canberra Raiders side for their match later in the day against St George Illawarra Dragons.

North Sydney however were boosted by the return of former New South Wales player Nathan Merritt, playing in the unfamiliar position of five-eight.

Mounties wearing a special indigenous jersey for the ‘Close The Gap’ round hit the front early after fullback Jack Ahearn pounced on a kick through for a 4-0 lead after two minutes.

Minutes later big centre Mosese Pangai, found the line for his first try of the afternoon and an 8-0 lead in what was shaping to be a high scoring afternoon for the Mounties.

North Sydney had the bulk of the possession and were threating the Mounties line but frustratingly could not breakthrough the strong Mounties defence.

As the half wore down elusive number six Joey Bond found his way through the Bears defence, streaking away for a well-deserved try and a 12-0 lead for his side.

Next up winger Reece Robinson then scored one of the tries for the season after the Bears put a kick into the in-goal, Robinson brought it back quickly for a 20 metre restart.

What happened next was the highlight of the match as Robinson tapped and was off, moving through North Sydney defence with ease to race 80 meters to score.

Leading 18-0, Mounties started the second half the way they started the first with an early try.

This time it was Shane Shackleton who barged his way, over under the post to have his side coasting at 24-0.

After the try Mounties were straight back on the attack and Mosese Pangai was in again for his second and put Mounties up 28-0.

Norths had opportunities to close up the gap however each attempt proved fruitless.

Then speedy youngster Jeremy Hawkins who continues to look like a star of the future broke through the Bears line to go over.

As the curtains drew on the match Mosese Pangai was again on the score sheet, landing a hat trick and a 40-0 win for his side.

Next week see’s Mounties face competition front-runners Penrith Panthers at Leichardt Oval, while the North Sydney Bears come up against Cronulla Sharks at North Sydney Oval.

Mounties 40 (M Pangai 3, J Ahearn, R Robinson, J Hawkins, J Bond, S Shackleton tries; M Place 4 goals) def. North Sydney Bears 0 at GIO Stadium.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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