HIGHLIGHTS: Bears v Roos (Rd 7)
The North Sydney Bears tore the Wyong Roos apart in a 32-4 upset under new coach Ben Gardiner and a new halves combination.
The Roos came into the match with a fantastic defensive record conceding less than 16 points per game for the season, while the Bears had only managed one win for the year and were sitting on the bottom of the ladder.
Halves pairing Cody Walker and Darren Nicholls took complete control of the entire 80 minutes and provided a much-needed spark in the Bears attack. Captain Matt Hyland was also very strong out of dummy half.
It was a defence orientated first half, though the halftime score of 6-0 did not highlight the dominance shown by the Bears outfit.
The Roos were their own worst enemy in the first half, continually making errors while in attack and gifting the Bears field position.
Nicholls dominated the first half with his creativity and vision that was highlighted in his role in the opening try when he put in a chip kick behind the Roos defence for John Olive to catch and score.
It was a smart play by the new halfback and he converted the try to make it 6-0 after 10 minutes.
Nicholls was not only outstanding in attack but in the 20th minute he saved a certain try with an excellent tackle on his own line. Just four minutes later, he forced a mid-field error with some solid contact on a Roos ball carrier.
The rest of the half was fast paced, but there were no more tries.
Bears prop Jesse Roberts scored just eight minutes into the second half after a good run by Walker. Nicholls converted to extend the lead to 12-0.
Sam Manuleleua showed his magic in the 51st minute when he took a spectacular catch on his own line and made a 50-metre dash. He then scored just a few tackles later thanks to a nice right-to-left backline shift off the back of his previous run. Nicholls missed the conversion attempt and it was 16-0.
Less than five minutes later the Bears were on the attack again, and Olive scored his second try of the day after a classy string of passes to make it 22-0 after the Nicholls conversion.
The Roos finally got on the scoreboard with 10 minutes remaining through Bennett Leslie who went over untouched courtesy of a good ball from dummy half. Nathan Stapleton missed the conversion and the score remained 22-4.
Hyland capped off an impressive game with a try adjacent to the posts in the 75th minute, which meant Nicholls had no issue with the conversion to make it 28-4.
In the final two minutes, Aaron Gray scored a 100-metre intercept try to top off what was a very impressive win by the Bears. Nicholls hit the post with the conversion, leaving a final 32-4 score line.
The Bears will host the Manly Sea Eagles, who are also coming off a win, at North Sydney Oval next Sunday, whilst the Roos will be looking to bounce back against the Illawarra Cutters at Morry Breen Oval.
North Sydney Bears 32 (J Olive 2, J Roberts, S Manuleleua, M Hyland, A Gray tries; D Nicholls 4 goals) bt Wyong Roos 4 (B Leslie try)