A gallant second half comeback wasn't enough for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in their 30-18 loss to the North Sydney Bears today in round 13 of the NSW Cup.
The Sea Eagles trailed 14-6 at half-time at North Sydney Oval and came home strongly but it wasn't to be with a late try to the Bears ending ending a three game winning streak for Blacktown Workers under Coach Matt Ballin.
With Manly having a bye in the NRL, the eighth-placed Blacktown Workers were boosted with the addition of centre Moses Suli and winger Christian Tuipulotu against the fourth-placed Bears.
The Bears had the first attacking opportunity in the third minute but some great scramble in defence by Moses Suli and Jorge Taufua in consecutive tackles on either side of the field kept the home side out.
Two minutes later, the Sea Eagles got over the line but were denied a try to five-eighth Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu for a double movement.
Tuipulotu then produced a classic cover tackle in the ninth minute to stop a possible try to winger Tom Carr.
North Sydney were not to be denied in the 12th minute when full-back Josh Bergamin brushed off a tackle by opposite Kaeo Weekes to slam the ball down out wide. Half-back Ronald Volkman converted for a 6-0 lead.
The Bears took a 10-0 lead five minutes later when Volkman put in a short kick for winger Moala Graham-Taufa to outleap opposite winger Tolu Koula to score in the corner. Volkman failed to convert the try from the sideline.
A fine run and offload by centre Jorge Taufua saw Weekes cross for a try in the 28th minute. Hooker Brad Keighran converted from in front of the posts for a 10-6 scoreline.
Two minutes before half-time, the Sea Eagles were denied a try to Koula after a forward pass from Taufua.
The Bears then managed to cross in the dying seconds of the half when Carr finished off a break down the left flank to score in the corner. Volkman failed to convert the try for a 14-6 lead at the break.
Three minutes after half-time, Taufua was held up over the line in a three man tackle.
The Bears went to an 18-6 lead when centre Tony Satini crashed over in the corner after the ball was shifted left through several hands. Volkman converted for a 20-6 lead after 48 minutes.
Two minutes later, the Sea Eagles lost lock Phillip Makatoa to the sin-bin for throwing a punch. The Bears took advantage of the extra man eight minutes later when Carr scored his second try in the corner. Volkman failed to convert for a 24-6 lead.
Makatoa repaid his team when he crashed over from a short pass to score next to the posts. Keighran converted for a 24-12 scoreline with 15 minutes remaining.
The Sea Eagles reduced the margin to six when lock Dane Aukafolau used his strength to beat two defenders to score. Keighran converted for a 24-18 score with nine minutes remaining.
Five minutes later, Weekes was held up over the line in a four man tackle in a desperate attempt to score.
A kick out on the full with three minutes remaining gave the Sea Eagles a chance 40 metres out but a kick on the last tackle ended with the Bears getting the ball back.
Carr then finished the match when he dived over for a hat-trick in the corner in the final seconds. Volkman converted after the siren for a 30-18 win.