City trounce the Redmen
AN INJURY-enforced reshuffle proved the catalyst for Lismore to get its season underway with a 19-0 shut-out of Grafton in FNC Rugby union at Lismore on Saturday.
Both teams were rusty as a chunk of steel on the beach through a scoreless first-half before the 2009 runners-up clicked to run in three tries.
Outside centre Joe Noble was creased in a rib-busting tackle and didn’t return for the second half which caused the reshuffle.
Livewire Scott Lancaster came off the bench and into the 10 jersey forcing Matt Bermingham to inside centre.
And didn’t he enjoy the extra space.
The pair – Lancaster and Bermingham – played big hands in the opening try with the former laying it on for the latter to grab the spoils.
A sweeping backline move that started on Grafton’s side of halfway ended with Birmingham touching down under the posts then knocking over the conversion.
From then it was all Lismore.
Flyer Rory Richardson and replacement Dominic Morris grabbed five pointers of their own to cement a solid win.
“It was a pleasing effort,” Lismore coach Richard Hughes said of his charges.
“We were both a bit slow to get going but I thought our boys really fell in to gear in the second forty.
“There is a lot of work to do and plenty to improve on but we will take that one.”
The most pleasing aspect of the performance for the coach was keeping their try-line in tact.
“Any time you keep a side to nil in any competition is a good effort,” he said.
Trojans, Ballina win
TWO other first grade matches were played over the weekend with premiers Lennox Head and Ballina victorious.
Lennox did it tough with a trio of representative stars missing but eventually overcame Wollongbar-Alstonville 24-12 at Wollongbar.
Ben Rampling made a resounding comeback to the back of the scrum after a year in the US, scoring a try and rattling plenty of bones in defence.
Representative centre Sam Stewart was adequately covered for with Braidon Boniface scoring and Harry Witt proving more than a handful with his tackle-busting running style.
Ballina totally outclassed Southern Cross Uni as the Seahorses ran in five unanswered tries for a 32-0 drubbing.
Fly-half Adam Fisher was dominant for the home side crossing for a try on his way to a personal tally of 12 points.
IN reserve grade: Ballina defeated SCU 40-5, The Pioneers beat Lennox Head 31-17 and Lismore set the tone for their first graders with a 26-7 victory over Grafton.
The under-19s produced a rare round of results with all three matches decided 50-0.
Wollongbar-Alstonville overpowered Mullumbimby, Ballina trounced SCU and Grafton belted Lismore.
Two matches were played in third grade with Ballina making a miserable weekend for SCU with a 53-5 win while Lismore beat Grafton 53-21.
The Village competition kicked off and saw a much closer round of rugby headlined by a big upset.
Four-time premiers Bangalow were knocked off by Iluka 17-16.
In other matches; Yamba pipped Kyogle 32-31, Byron held off Murwillumbah 12-5 and Evans River beat Mullumbimby 34-5.