Mounties and North Sydney Bears played out a captivating draw at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

It was the Bears who flew out of the gates early with livewire five-eighth Cody Walker twice piercing the line to find Latrell Schaumkel first and then Joel Reddy for an early 10-0 lead.

Mounties quickly found their feet as young, Tevita Pangai Junior proved too hard to stop close to the line to make it 10-6.

Strong Mounties defence kept North Sydney from extending their advantage and when Mounties got their chance, they were rewarded when Sam Aiga dived over out wide, hitting the front 12-10.

Looking more confident playing from the front, Mounties five-eighth Josh McCrone split the defence to find Glen Buttriss who touched down under the post.

They were straight back on the attack as Jeremy Hawkins found the line to wrap up the half and see Mounties hold a 22-10 lead.

The second half kicked off with the Bears seeing most of the football and applying pressure. Eventually they found their way through with Reddy returning the favour to Cody Walker to make it a converted try difference at 22-16.

With Mounties looking to put the match to bed, a bomb close to the line saw Stewart Mills come down with the ball and pass to Mitch Cronin who scored what looked to be the decisive try at 26-16.

However, the Bears refused to give in, scoring two late tries. Scott Sorensen burrowed over from dummy half to score and then Reddy grabbed his second of the afternoon to make it 26-all with one minute remaining.

Both sides had their chances to find the match winner with the ball staying alive for more than a minute after the fulltime siren but neither could find the breakthrough, settling for a draw in what came to be a classic VB NSW Cup match.

Next week sees Mounties try keep pace with Penrith as they host Wentworthville down in Canberra. While North Sydney will be one of the many teams with the week off.

 

Mounties 26 (T Pangai, J Hawkins, G Buttriss, M Cronin, S Aiga tries; M Cornish 3 goals) drew with North Sydney Bears 26 (J Reddy 2, L Schaumkel, C Walker, S Sorensen tries; C Walker 3 goals)