Ella great off-the-field entertainer

Left: Wallaby Mark Ella spoke at Southern Cross University last Friday at a fundraising luncheon to support Junior Rugby on the Far North Coast.Right: Ballina halfback Troy Nicholls fires a ball out the backline on Saturday against Lismore City.

Sorry John, I cant hear you

If it had been up to Glen Ella, sorry day would have come in 2003 during the rugby World Cup in Sydney.

Speaking at a charity lunch for Far North Coast Junior Rugby at Southern Cross University on Friday, Mark Ella related how his twin brother caught the ear of Prime Minister John Howard after a Wallabies win.

Glen, who was assistant coach of the Wallabies, just happened to be standing next to John Howard when the boys all did the arms around the shoulders for the national anthem, Mark said. After they finished Glen didnt let go like everyone else. He put the prime minister in a headlock and said to him say sorry now, ya bastard.

First grade

Lennox Head have maintained their position on top of the Far North Coast Rugby Union ladder by defeating last years finalist Grafton 19-18 with a penalty goal on the bell. The turning point in the struggle came midway through the second term, when the quick thinking of Joe and Harry Witt turned a faulty Grafton kick-off into a quick lineout for Joe to run away and score.

Ill-discipline marred the last 10 minutes of the game as penalties flowed in quick succession, finally offering Lennox the win.

Lismore City absorbed a good deal of pressure in the second half of their match with Ballina before laying on a late try to seal the game 15-3. The final try to flanker Heath Conlan came on the back of a long midfield kick by fullback Matt Birmingham and a great chase by the City side.

In a fast-paced and see-sawing match rich in running rugby, the Southern Cross University Gold Rats murdered a couple of gilt-edged opportunities to go down to Wollongbar 27-25. Both teams wasted opportunities, with the Pioneers held up over the line three times.

Ill-discipline also cost Casino a win as they ended up going down to Tweed Heads Coolangatta 19-13, as they offered up possession and field position through their inability to keep their mouths shut.

This Saturday from 3pm Ballina host Casino, Tweed welcome SCU, Lismore host Lennox in a must see match up, while Grafton should have little trouble accounting for Yamba at home.

Pointscore: Lennox Head 14, Coolangatta Tweed 14, Wollongbar Alstonville 11, Ballina 9, Casino 9, Southern Cross 7, Lismore 4, Grafton 2 and Yamba 0.


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