North Sydney 18, Balmain 6

North Sydney v Balmain, 23 May 2009
A low-scoring game at the North Sydney Oval as the Bears defeated the Tigers 18-6, four tries to one, in their Round 10 NSWRL Cup clash this afternoon.

It was drizzly for most of the afternoon until the heavens opened just after half-time. Thankfully, the grandstands are all undercover unlike certain multimillion-dollar constructions at Homebush and Moore Park. Norths, who are the feeder club for South Sydney these days, led 8-0 at the break, and held on although Balmain-Ryde, one of the Wests Tigers feeder clubs, did most of the attacking late in the game.

Not a bad crowd on the afternoon, maybe a thousand or so, waiting in expectation for the Bears' return to the NRL as an expansion club on the Central Coast in about 2013. It mightn't be so long a wait, however, if Cronulla go belly-up at the end of this season, leaving a vacancy in the sixteen-team comp in 2010. Are you ready Bears?

I've put some photos of the game on flickr.