FOOTY PLAYERS TACKLE THIEF

By JAMIE BROWN jamie.brown@northernstar.com.au A BALLINA teenager, described by%police as being 'well known to them', met his match on Tuesday evening after the alleged mugging of a Lennox Head teenager.

According to police, the youthful dodger approached his victim about 6pm in Williams Reserve at Lennox Head, assaulted him and stole his mobile phone. After the victim returned home in a distraught state, the victim's mother took action into her own hands. She drove around town, spotted the alleged thief and gave chase.

Near the community centre at the top end of William's Reserve, she cried out for help.

Her appeal was heard by 30 eager Trojan Rugby Union players, gathered at the other end of the reserve for Tuesday night training.

The team had only just completed a one-hour sprint workout under the eager gaze of fitness trainer Carlos Dobson and had been complaining about the pain when they heard the woman's cry for help.

Trojan's publicity officer John Bungate, who was at the time in the clubhouse filling up water bottles, returned to the paddock and found only a dozen or so tight forwards milling about.

The rest, including all the fast backs, had disappeared in a cloud of dust, according to John, furious that such an act of thievery could happen in their quiet town.

"They took off like scalded rabbits," recalled John. "It was a team pursuit. It was great to see the guys getting into it instead of just standing back."

The mugger gave them a good five-minute run for their money, leaving the coach to wonder why they could sprint so fast only%moments after complaining loudly to him about their taxing sprint workout.

The mugger was run down by the rugby stampede. He gave up without a fight and handed back the mobile phone.

Police later arrested a 16-year-old at his West Ballina home.

"Most of our boys knew the victim and his mother and they were fired up," said John.

"We don't want that sort of thing happening here. We're proud of our village."

It seems the Trojans still had plenty left in the tank. On their return they put their backs into a very physical contact session between first and second-grade sides.

"They were geed up," said John. "They were very physical."

It remains to be seen whether the Trojans have enough petrol in the tank to top Gold Coast hinterland Celtics on Saturday at Mudgeeraba in a trial game.

Go Trojans!



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