NOT even a broken nose could stop Ballina halfback Nikko Roberts from having his best game of the season in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League yesterday.
Roberts scored two tries as the Seagulls defeated a disappointing Marist Brothers 42-20 at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
The 19-year-old has spent the past two seasons playing in Newcastle and threw just about everything he had at the Rams yesterday.
"I straightened my nose back up and it's all good," Roberts said.
"It happened after I scored the second try but it's not feeling too bad.
"I'm getting my confidence back and the boys have really been behind me."
Roberts wasn't the only Ballina player to find the try-line more that once.
Wingers Tyrone Kelly and Chris Dooley each bagged a brace of tries.
The Rams were always going to struggle when they were 20-0 down at the 30-minute mark.
Brothers fullback Mitchell Krause tried hard at the back all day and was rewarded with two tries.
The best try of the afternoon came from a Kane Montgomery burst in which he offloaded to Under-18s captain Jacob Follent who raced away and threw a dummy to go in under the crossbar and give his side a 38-6 buffer.
Late tries to Peter Jeffries, Brendan Wall and Krause made the scoreline more respectable for the visitors.
"We got out of the blocks quick and kicked on from there," Ballina coach Greg Barnes said.
"We're probably the fittest team in the comp and it's starting to show."
Barnes was especially thrilled to get the competition points with a game against Northern United on Wednesday night before their clash with Murwillumbah on Sunday.
Brothers coach Adam Mayes was left scratching his head at why his side put in such a poor performance.
"We didn't control the football and we were behind the eight-ball right from the start today," Mayes said.
BALLINA 42 (N Roberts 2, Tyrone Kelly 2, Chris Dooley 2, Ben Robinson, Jacob Follent tries; A Battese 4 goals, Roberts goal) d
MARIST BROTHERS 20 (M Krause 2, P Jeffries, B Wall; D Butcher 2 goals).
Reserve grade: Marist Brothers 34 d Ballina 20.
Under-18s: Ballina 18 d Marist Brothers 4