Nth Rivers Under-18s get the better of Newcastle



NORTHERN Rivers has taken another step towards the NSW Country Rugby League Under-18 champions after a 36-14 win over Newcastle last Saturday.

It was a big effort, considering the week before they had travelled to Mudgee, where they defeated the strong Western Divivsion team 48-12.

Northern Rivers has built a culture and character that sees all the players working for the team and while there have been some late replacements, it has not affected the performance.

Captain Daniel Bligh (South Grafton) has led by example and along with fellow prop Scott McLellan (Marist Brothers) has provided the go-forward.

Andrew Battese (Ballina) has also been to the fore, as has Alex Butchies (Byron Bay). Jy Hitchcox (Mullumbimby) and Cameron Gibson (Kyogle) have also been strong.

The team's next game will be against North Coast at Macksville on May 26, with a win putting the boys into the championship final.

Coach Wayne Cullen is pleased with the progress and the results. He is confident the team can raise the bar for the high-intensity games coming up. NORTHERN RIVERS 34 (Khan Williams, Joe Witt, Andrew Battesse, Alex Butchies, Matt Hundy tries; Andew Battese 5, John Campbell goals) d NEWCASTLE 14.



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