Bears are out to ruin a few picnics despite semi-finals dream diminishing

ON FIRE LIVE WIRE: Bears fullback Jake Crooks has been a revelation at the back for the resurgent Blayney outfit this season. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0720sgleague8

ON FIRE LIVE WIRE: Bears fullback Jake Crooks has been a revelation at the back for the resurgent Blayney outfit this season. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0720sgleague8

WITH a dream of a Group 10 finals berth all but gone in 2014, Blayney captain-coach Terawhiti Cooper is confident the Bears can ruffle a few feathers over the final month of this year’s regular season.

The Bears have been on the improve this year, turning a winless comeback campaign in 2013 into a two wins, two draws and nine losses season, so far, in 2014.

Under the guidance of former premiership-winning Orange CYMS enforcer Cooper, the Bears have been able to match it with most sides in the premiership, pushing the likes of title hopes Mudgee, Cowra and Orange Hawks while chalking up memorable wins over Lithgow Workies and Bathurst Panthers.

And Cooper is confident the Bears aren’t done yet.

Tipping his side to rattle a few cages over the course of the final four rounds this year, Cooper said opposition sides can expect a highly motivated Bears outfit.

“I’m always confident,” Cooper fired following his side’s 29-22 loss to Hawks on Sunday, a game the Bears led the majority of the way.

“We can have four, five players out, but we’ll still have 100 per cent drive. And that’s my job. I never put my head down. You’ve got to go out there to win.”

GALLERY: ORANGE HAWKS V BLAYNEY BEARS, ROUND 14

Currently in ninth on the ladder 10 competition points behind the fifth-placed CYMS, the Bears have the bye this weekend before games against Panthers (Carrington Park), Oberon (King George Oval) and the Cowra  (Sid Kallas Oval) to round out their 2014 campaign.

The goal? Win each of those games.

“We’re still pretty confident,” the Group 10 prop fired.

“I don’t know where the ladder stands. It doesn’t bother me at all. We sort of set ourselves a goal. Over the first round we were getting pumped and it was hard for the boys. But we’re determined, that’s my desire.

“I like the challenge. (Coaching) was everything I asked for and a bit more. I might have my hands full,” he smiled.

While young fullback Jake Crooks has been sensational for the Bears, Cooper also identified emerging backrower Leigh Monaghan as the future of the club.

“Easily, I’ll be honest ... he’d easily be the best second rower in the game,” Cooper said.

“He makes line breaks every touch of the ball and he’s passing, he’s scoring, he’s one player we definitely need in our side.”

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