Bulls snatch tight win in the mud
Casino halfback Luke Serone produced a Man-of-the-Match performance as the Casino Bulls snatched a 1-point win over a determined Southern Cross University Gold Rats, 14-13.
The forward-dominated affair was an arm wrestle that gave the opposing front rows a chance to shine, in a mud- covered kind of way. Casino front rower Joe Mohammed and Gold Rat hooker Adam Condon shone the most, in their own gritty fashion.
The Wollongbar Alstonville Pioneers have begun their season on a high, knocking off the highly-rated Grafton Redmen 32-19 and picking up a bonus point for their six tries.
Wollongbar tighthead prop Kent Sharman and second rower Matt Scott championed the Pioneers pack, which tackled themselves to a stand still to keep out the Redmen, who regularly pressed the try line. Pioneers flanker Malcolm Watts provided the turning point with a runaway try midway through the second half, while Grafton Under 19 breakaway Bryce Speechley remained a thorn in the local side throughout the match.
The Lennox Head Trojans won their second match in three years over the Coolangatta Baa Baas, 25-18. Pillows, blankets and warm drinks were supplied to the shocked spectators and to the visiting Tweed players. Rugby League convert Harry Witt had a successful debut at breakaway as the unsung Trojans picked up a bonus point with four tries. The Trojans recruited well during the off season, particularly at the expense of Ballina with Tony Buchanan and Trent Gasnier both crossing for tries in their new colours.
Openside flanker Mick Lord put in a tireless effort as the Seahorses made light of their diminished player roster, defeating Yamba 27-5. The match was illuminated by the battle between the five-eighths, Yambas Kris Thomsen and Ballinas Adam Fisher, who mixed their kicking, running and passing options insightfully.
This Saturday Yamba host SCU, Lismore welcome Wollongbar to Lismore, Grafton host Tweed and Ballina travel to Lennox Head for the grudge match to end all grudge matches.
Points: Wollongbar Alstonville 5, Ballina 5, Lennox Head 5, Casino 4, Southern Cross 1, Coolangatta Tweed 1, Yamba 0, Grafton 0, Lismore 0.