Ben Damen scores for Wollongbar against Lennox Head on Saturday.
Ben Damen scores for Wollongbar against Lennox Head on Saturday.

Bulls get better

By ADRIAN MILLER

THE Casino Bulls may have lost their grand final rematch with the Grafton Redmen 12-6 in the second round of Coopers Far North Coast rugby union, but coach Mark Collison isn??t worried.

After they scraped home against Wollongbar-Alstonville in the first round with a poor performance, Collison was impressed with his side??s standard of play against the defending premiers.

??It was a good game in the first half with a pretty high standard of play,?? he said. ??We matched them in every thing they did.

??You know when you play Grafton it??s going to be a big forwards battle and we stood up to everything.

??We countered their rolling maul well and our line-outs and scrums were solid.??

Both sides went hard at the ball early and although Grafton had most of the possession, Casino??s defence was impregnable and it wasn??t until a cross-kick opportunist try after 25 minutes that the Redmen had any-thing to show for their early play.

??They had us under pressure but they couldn??t get through so they kicked it to the left winger who out-jumped one of our second-rowers and pulled it out of the air, but they didn??t really deserve it,?? Collison said.

Grafton went to the half 5-0 up and although the standard of play dropped off slightly as both side??s tired, Collison said he was confident his side would prevail.

Craig Connolly, Heath Johnston, Todd Horsley had good games for the Bulls, but, in a warning to other teams, Collison said his side had plenty of improvement.

??We have plenty of points in us, it??s just a matter of putting the jigsaw together,?? he said.

??We improved heaps from last week and at the moment we??re only playing at about 60 per cent, so there??s potential there.?? ?z Trojans outclassed NEXT weekend can??t come soon enough for Lennox Head Trojans coach Barry Kiddle after his side was demolished 60-10 by the Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers.

The Trojans were missing a number of first-grade players but Kiddle said it was the first-half effort which was the most disappointing aspect of his side??s performance.

??We played poorly, in the first half in particular; our enthusiasm just wasn??t there,?? he said.

A half-time razz from the coach was enough to wake the Trojans out of their slumber, but with the score already 36-3 they were only playing for pride.

??The second half was much better,?? Kiddle said. ??They pulled their socks up and had a go but we??ve still got a huge amount of work to do.??

Pioneers coach Dave Graham said he was thrilled with the way his side responded after their loss to Casino last weekend.

He said it was that domination of possession which helped secure the win.

Tim Perkins, Michael Wilson and Ben Damen, who scored three tries, were the stand-outs for the Pioneers, while Matt Durking, James Pearson and Mat Liddle were the best for the Trojans. ?z Students learn a lesson SOUTHERN Cross Uni has been brought back to earth with a 12-7 loss to the Yamba Buccaneers in Lismore.

The Gold Rats were on a high after knocking off competition heavyweights Ballina Seahorses last weekend, but they couldn??t replicate that performance against a Yamba side playing their first game of the season.

Uni coach Ben Matters said his side just couldn??t hold on to the ball. ??I was pretty disappointed with our game,?? he said.

He said Dan Doyle, Chase Magner and Angus Gillespie were the Gold Rats?? best ?z Lismore lucky THE Lismore Greens just hung on against the Coolangatta-Tweed Barbarians to record a 22-20 at Coolangatta.

While Lismore played well to recover from a 10-3 half-time deficit, they were some-what lucky to come away with the win after they being outscored four tries to three.

It was only the wayward kicking of Tweed five-eighth Afa Sauia, who failed at four conversion attempts, which saw Lismore home.



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