Position: 3rd (Runners-Up)
Points For: 623
Points Against: 177
The North Canberra Bears reached their second Grand Final in three years off the back of a much improved season. The Bears won an extra three matches during 2018 and were rewarded with a third place finish.
North Canberra won their first six matches, which included a six point win against the defending Premiers, the Harden Hawks. The Bears’ first loss of the season was inflicted by Crookwell in Round 8.
The Bears were undefeated in their following six matches but looked to have lost their winning form at the wrong time as they lost two of their last three matches of the regular season and lost the Qualifying Final against Harden by a single point.
However, the Bears rediscovered their mojo as they beat Boorowa in the Semi Final before a 15-12 win against the Hawks saw them progress to the Grand Final.
Unfortunately for North Canberra, they conceded too many points early against Crookwell. Despite a strong second half, they couldn’t make up the 22 point deficit, going down 22-16.
Points For: 228
Points Against: 196
The North Canberra Bears were one of the competition’s biggest improvers in 2018. Having finished second last with two wins in 2017, the Bears claimed nine wins to claim the last spot in this year’s finals series.
Their season started with a bang as they claimed a 16-14 Round 1 win over the Bungedore Tigerettes and followed it up with a further two wins.
The Bears proved themselves to be competitive against the third placed Crookwell She Devils and fourth placed Boorowa Roverettes during the regular season. Although the margin was always close, the Bears only had one win against the two sides and that came against Crookwell as the Bears claimed a 20-12 win.
Once finals begun, the Bears produced a stunning result to defeat Boorowa for the first time in 2018 with a 14-0 win at Boorowa. However, the Bears season came to end the following weekend as Bungendore claimed a 28-4 win.
Points For: 292
Points Against: 266
North Canberra actually doubled their number of wins throughout the regular season in 2018 despite not replicating last year’s achievement of reaching the Grand Final.
The Bears won their first two matches of the season against Bungendore and Crookwell respectively. However, they lost their winning form after that as they lost their next four matches.
A big 46-14 win over Crookwell was followed by a six point win against the Tuggeranong Bushrangers.
However, the Bears hit another slump in the final third of the season as they suffered five losses in their final six matches.
Like they did in 2017, the Bears lifted once finals came around as wins against Tuggeranong and Crookwell saw them play against Harden Boorowa for a place in the Grand Final. Unfortunately for the Bears, Harden registered a 24-12 win which ended North Canberra’s season.
It wasn’t the end to the season that the Bears were hoping for in George Tooke Shield but the Bears can be pleased by their efforts in 2018 to reach the final.
After giving Crookwell a 22-0 head start, it could have been game over but the Bears fought hard to make a game of it despite losing 22-16.