NORTH Tamworth Bears bared their Group 4 premiership claws at Scully Park on the weekend, winning the Wests Group 4 Knockout despite playing below their best.
The Bears, who beat Wee Waa 62-12 and Gunnedah 34-10 in their round robin games, accounted for a gallant young West Lions 22-8 in Sunday afternoon’s final.
That was despite bombing three early tries and then trailing 4-nil.
The Bears took control in the second half to pocket the $4000 winner’s cheque and give coach Brad Mcmanus plenty to consider.
“You don’t win grand finals in April,” McManus said.
“We’ve got plenty of work to do but it’s good to see a few new players going all right.
“ We’ve picked up Zac Russ. He’s been in a good paddock but will be real good for us.
“And we’ve still got Shaun Ferguson to come back into this side.
“The club is in a good spot at the momentand they are all doing a good job over there,” he said of the Bears’ home base at Jack Woolaston Oval.
Meanwhile, Dubbo will be transformed into a Festival of Rugby League from Wednesday, April 30, when the State’s best rugby league players descend upon the city in the lead-up to the 2014 AAMI Country v City match on Sunday, May 4.
A host of activities will take place across the city, with all levels of the game on show from local students competing for the Cochrane Cup to Country and City player signings.
There will be a virtual primary school visit across the region, with NRL One Community Ambassadors broadcasting from Dubbo to more than 60 schools in the area.
80 years of Country Rugby League will be celebrated on Friday, May 2 with the Men of League Function at Dubbo RSL.
Tickets are on sale now through the RSL.
The local community is invited to meet and mingle with the Country and City coaches, past players and help the local boys celebrate the 40th anniversary of their Amco Cup win as part of the 80th year celebrations.
Following the function, all eyes will turn to the big screen to watch the World Cup-winning Kangaroos take on the Kiwis in the Test.
Country assistant coach, Steve “Blocker” Roach, and City team manager, Paul Sironen, will take a tour of Dubbo today in the lead up to next month’s AAMI Country v City clash at Caltex Park.
CRL chief executive Terry Quinn, Dubbo City Council general manager Mark Riley and chair of the council’s Country City Committee, Bill Kelly, will join Roach and Sironen on the tour.
The tour will include stops at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Cyril Flood Rotunda, and Old Dubbo Jail.
During the visit the group will also launch the Country v City shop-decorating competition where shop owners will be able to show their true Country or City allegiance.