Bad to worse for struggling Trojans
by ADRIAN MILLER
IT WAS hard to imagine that things could get worse for the Lennox Head Trojans, but by losing players to the chicken pox, a broken hand, a broken jaw and a dislocated shoulder, they did.
With them facing a hard-nosed Wollongbar-Alstonville in the second round of Coopers Far North Coast rugby union today, they will definitely be up against it.
But coach Barry Kiddle knows he has the charges capable of standing up to the Pioneers.
??Last week we were really in it with Lismore and it wasn??t until the final 15 minutes that they ran in a few tries and sealed the game,?? he said.
??But we??re a very enthusiastic side ?X we??re definitely better than last year ?X so we??re confident.??
The Trojans added some much needed experience into the squad in the off-season and Kiddle said the team??s young players were already reaping the benefits.
??We drafted in a couple of handy ex-Ballina players and they are really adding some quality to the forward pack,?? he said.
??We??re still teaching a lot of our guys the basics and getting the techniques right and once they have that it will flow.??
Pioneers coach Dave Graham said his side was unlucky to lose to Casino last week and they would be intent on atoning in front of a parochial home crowd.
??Like Lennox last year we have a very young side but we??ve had a pretty good lead-up so the combinations are good for so early in the season,?? he said. ??I was very impressed with the skill level last week.?? ?z Grand final rematch CASINO Bulls will be out for revenge when they tackle defending premiers the Grafton Redmen at Casino this afternoon.
Both sides are coming off wins last week ?X Casino a hard-fought five-point effort over Wollongbar and Grafton a 47-point thumping of Coolangatta-Tweed.
But even though the Redmen had a big win, Casino coach Mark Collison said it was difficult to read too much into it.
??They played Coolangatta-Tweed last week so I??m not sure if that??s a good gauge of their form,?? he said. Casino were somewhat lucky to get away with their win over the Pioneers and Collison said they would have to improve on last week??s performance if they were to challenge the premiers.
??We went all right for our first game but we turned over a lot of ball and had a few defensive lapses as well,?? he said. ??We??ve trained pretty well this week and been working hard on the basics.?? ?z Uni playing blind AFTER starting the season with an upset win over Ballina Seahorses, SCU coach Ben Matters admits he??s not real sure how his side will go against the Yamba Buccaneers at Maurie Ryan Oval, Lismore.
But that??s mainly down to the fact he has no idea what Yamba will produce.
??I couldn??t say we were confident of winning but that??s only because no-one has seen Yamba play this year,?? he said.
??They had the bye last week so it??s a bit of a blind game. ??That said, the boys trained really well on Tuesday and Thursday.?? The Gold Rats?? win last week was down to the strict adherence to their game plan and solid defensive work, and Matters expects the same again today. ??We were pretty solid everywhere and we??ll aim to get points on the board and just go from there,?? he said. ?z Bogey Barbarians LISMORE will travel north to face the Coolangatta-Tweed Barbarians in what shapes as a bogey game for the Greens. The Baa Baas were stuffed by Grafton last week while Lismore ran out easy winners over Lennox Head, but they didn??t have it all their own way.
Former Australian Navy rep Scott Lancaster has added some class to the Greens and old heads Ray Taylor, James Oliveri and Nigel Marshall keep on keeping on. Ballina Seahorses have the bye.