Karl Lupton
Karl Lupton

Big wish list

By ADRIAN MILLER

WINNING rugby games isn't all about big, bustling players running over smaller opponents, but Far North Coast coach Karl Lupton wishes he had a few more behemoths after his side went down to New England 14-0 in the first round of the Richardson Shield in Lismore on Saturday.

While it's a positive result given New England expected to win by 30, Lupton said his side was disappointed with the loss.

"It was 7-0 at half-time and we thought we were in the game, but they scored with 10 minutes to go to wrap it up," he said.

"They were a bit quicker to the breakdowns and tended to be more organised in attack.

"Our defence worked well considering the amount of tackles we had to make, but when we had the ball we weren't organised enough."

Lupton said he was pleased with his side's set-piece play and defence, but in the end New England's size and extra fitness got it home.

"We dominated for 30 minutes in the scrums and our lineout worked solidly but they just wore us down, were a bit more mobile and they just they kept going in the second half," he said.

"Our forwards worked really, really, well but constantly having to tackle is always hard work."

Lupton said flanker Rob Teoka (Evans River), second-rower Dru Baggaley (Ballina) and Ben Jermanus (Coolangatta-Tweed) excelled in the forwards, while halfback Brett Graham (Grafton) and fullback Tony Buchanan (Ballina) were the best of the backs.

FNC's next assignment in the four-team competition will be against Western Plains at Cobar on March 17.

nTHE Far North Coast Under-20s had a better start to their campaign with a 15-13 win over New England on Saturday.

Inside centre James Wivell (SCU) was the star for the home side with five penalties, which bettered New England's two tries.

In the Macadamia Industry Cup, a FNC President's XV outlasted a Combined Village XV 19-12.

Wes Torrens, Dave Cannon and Trent Gasnier crossed for the winners, with two conversions from Damien Thom, while Ben Osborne and Luke Jackson scored for the villagers, with one Nathan Gemmel conversion.



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