The side went down to defending champions Tupapa Panthers 22-34 in an exciting battle at Victoria Park.
Bears manager Pare Rongokea said they were impressed with the players’ performance despite their loss in the Round Five feature clash.
Rongokea conceded the Panthers were stronger, especially in their ball skills later in the match, with the likes of old hands Turori Matutu and Teina Savage providing the fine touches.
“We are very happy with our team. We had good opportunities which we didn’t execute and we gave away some opportunities that came our way,” Rongokea said.
“Nevertheless, we have got something to work on for the second round. We are pretty sure that we are capable to take up the challenge in the second round.”
Panthers coach Darren Piri also praised the young Bears for putting up a brave fight.
Midway through the second spell, the Bears managed to crawl back to level the match 22-all before the experienced Panthers ran away with two tries to claim victory.
“We slacked off working our D (defence) in the first 10 to 15 minutes in the game but we sort of talked about it to the boys and also emphasised on keeping the ball. It’s very hard when you got three tacklers coming at you and you don’t know how to hold the ball. Maybe that’s something we need to look at in our training,” Piri said.
“It’s good to see the Bears playing so well with a young team. It’s just early days in the season, we still got the second round to go so there is still lot of work to be done.”
Meanwhile the Bears will host an ambrose golf fundraising event on Friday and a runathon on Saturday.