After getting their season back on track in recent weeks, Illawarra have suffered a disappointing 23-10 loss against the North Sydney Bears in Nowra on Saturday.
North Sydney were the first to score when experienced campaigner Dane Nielsen collected a wayward cross field kick to place the ball over the stripe.
Braidon Burns crossed for the Bears second before an intercept try by Illawarra’s Jai Field in the shadows of half-time narrowed the Bears lead to 8-6.
In typical Illawarra style, the scarlet and whites came out in the second half all guns blazing scoring immediately after the intermission through winger Izaac Thompson.
Thompson’s four-pointer proved to be the only highlight for the hosts in the second stanza, as North Sydney ran in three second half tries through Cheyne Whitelaw, Tautalatasi Tasi and Neilson, who bagged his double.
Luke Kelly added a little polish to his side's performance by kicking a field goal in the final stages of the game to secure the 13-point victory
North Sydney Bears 23 (Dane Nielsen 2, Braidon Burns, Tautalatasi Tasi, Cheyne Whitelaw tries; Adam Doueihi goal; L Kelly field goal) defeated Illawarra 10 (Jai Field, Izaac Thompson tries; Shaun Nona goal)