Bulls finally halt losing streak
A FRUSTRATING run of losses has finally come to an end for Casino Bulls after the rugby club recorded a solid 23-point win over Ballina in their Coopers Far North Coast Rugby union match at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, on Saturday.
The Bulls' 39-16 victory gave coach Mark Collison plenty to smile about and the club can now build on the win particularly the nature of it as it attempts to secure a spot in the top reaches of the ladder.
"We looked at it as being an important game and I am happy with how the boys stepped up, put their hands up and had a go," Collison said.
"It's always good to have a win, isn't it, and a beer tastes just a little bit sweeter afterwards.
"It was just a relief to win.
"We can take a bit of confidence out of that and build on it now."
The Bulls turned a slender two-point lead at half-time into a 23-point gap at the final whistle.
Equally pleasing for the coach was the way his boys went about it.
"We were struggling at the breakdowns so we made some positional changes at half-time and reshuffled the backline," said Collison.
"We dominanted the scrum all day and we were able to transfer that to general play around the paddock.
"We also won most of the lineout possession and from there we converted that pressure into a good second half."
Collison said front-rower Terry Lleywellyn, Nathan Quirk, in his first game back in the firsts, Shaun Makings and Dwayne Corrigan were named as his side's best players.
The Seahorses' Jason Richards was the sole try-scorer for his team, which also converted three penalties.
Tight at the top
THE Bulls' win sees them in second place on the ladder with 33 competition points, but their grip on that spot is no certainty.
Coolongatta-Tweed's big win over Southern Cross University sees the Barbarians closely behind with 31 points, and Yamba's 41-0 routing of Lennox Head sees the Buccaneeers jump Wollongbar-Alstonville into fourth spot on 31 points. While at Grafton, a brave Lismore kept the rampant Redmen to two tries in their 17-5 loss to the competition leaders. Justin Saint was the sole try-scorer for the Greens.
FIRST GRADE Yamba 41 (Liam Jones 2, Tristan Allard 2, Andrew Dayas, Grant Rooks, Josh Burnes tries, Kris Thomsen 3 conversions) d Lennox Head 0
Grafton 17 (Brett Graham 2, Scott Forwell tries, Trent Dickson conversion) d Lismore 5 (Justin Sant) Casino 39 (David Briggs 2, Cale Berry, Heath Johnston, Joe Mohammed tries, Dywayne Corrigan 4 conversions, 2 penalty goals) d Ballina 16 (Jason Richards, try, Andrew Gordon conv., 3 penalty goals) Half time: Casino 15 Ballina 13
Coolangatta Tweed 30 (Afa Sauia, John Yates, Luke Osberg-Bauer tries, Todd Heywood 3 conversions, 3 penalty goals) d Southern Cross University 3 (Stu Currington penalty goal) Half time: Coolangatta Tweed 13 SCU 3
Point Score Grafton 52, Casino 33, Coolangatta Tweed 32, Yamba 31, Ballina 30, Lismore 28, Wollongbar Alstonville 28, SCU 15, Lennox Head 0
RESERVE GRADE Lismore 21 d Grafton 14 Ballina 17 d Casino 7 Yamba 21 d Mullumbimby 15 Coolangatta 50 d SCU 0
UNDER 19 Wollongbar 21 d Evans River 7 Grafton 50 d Lismore 0
THIRD GRADE Lismore 17 d Grafton 5
VILLAGE COMPETITION Bangalow 24 d Richmond Range 10 Kyogle 50 d Byron Bay 0 Woolgoolga 5 d Evans River 0