King stamps his authority

Byron Bay’s Chris King (right) monsters Ballina’s Fred Pitt at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
Byron Bay’s Chris King (right) monsters Ballina’s Fred Pitt at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina. Marc Stapelberg

BYRON Bay centre Chris King was determined to leave his mark when the Red Devils ran away with a 28-10 victory against the Ballina Seagulls at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina yesterday.

King put the Seagulls back three under all sorts of pressure with his powerful kicking game and helped winger James Harrington bag a double.

He also scored a try of his own from an intercept in the first half and nailed four conversions.

"I've tried to work on my defence and it's good to be able to help the boys out with a win," King said.

"I missed a lot of footy last year with a hamstring and shoulder injury so it's good just to be back on the paddock.

"I'd just be happy to hold on to my position with Clarence (Kelly) coming back."

"The scary thing is we still have Clarence and Bill Lowrie to come back," Red Devils coach Tobin Cupples said.

"Chris is a big boy and I wouldn't want him running at me."

The Red Devils front row proved almost unstoppable at times with Simon Kelly and Chris Coleman running through the defence.

A determined game from lock Ben Webber was rewarded with a try in the second half.

"Ballina are always spirited against us and it was a good local derby," Cupples said.

The Seagulls were behind the eight ball from the beginning when they lost five-eighth Brett Kelly in the opening minutes with a dislocated elbow.

Kelly's forced absence threw a spanner in the works with star player Andrew Battese forced to cover a number of positions for the rest of the game.

"They took their chances and we didn't," Barnes said.

"Our defence was fantastic, we just had to do too much of it."

Byron Bay 28 (J Harrington 2, C Rowston, B Webber, C King tries; C King 4 goals) d Ballina 10 (A Roberts, A Colman tries; A Battese goal).

Topics:  ballina seagulls, byron bay, chris king, nrrrl, red devils



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