Pint-sized flanker worth his light weight in gold
By STEVE SPINKS
HE'S five-foot nothing.
Weighs under 85kg wringing wet.
But Casino coach Mick Russell wouldn't swap pint-sized flanker Jarrod Cameron for anyone.
Especially after Cameron turned in a strong performance for the Bulls in their 26-12 victory over Ballina in Bangalow Hotel Far North Coast rugby union on Saturday.
The scorebook shows Casino scored four tries to two, but the game was up for grabs until the final 10 minutes.
The turning point came mid-way through the second half with Ballina on the attack and leading 12-7.
The Seahorses looked certain to score, but some rugged defence forced a turnover and 30 seconds later Casino centre Dan MacDonald was on the end of an 80-metre movement that resulted in the Bulls taking the lead.
It was a lead they never surrendered and the Bulls ran in two more tries in the last 15 minutes to secure the win and a bonus point.
Despite MacDonald scoring the match-turning try, it was Cameron who earned the praise of the Casino coach.
"I don't know how he does it," Russell said.
"He's always the player who is there if you need someone to take a pass or make a tackle.
"He's wiry, but he's all muscle and he's deceptively strong for his size.
"Sometimes I think that might help him because people under-estimate him."
Cameron, a Casino junior, has become a regular first-grader over the past couple of seasons.
The Southern Cross University student and former electrician is a perfect linking breakaway, who is also a determined force at the breakdown.
Before his inclusion in the Bulls' back row, it would be fair to say their loose forwards lacked genuine pace.
Cameron ensured Casino got their fair share of possession at the breakdown, while the Bulls had the better of the scrums and the Seahorses the line-out.
Besides Cameron, fullback Tory Gilmour, prop Terry Llewellyn and newly promoted halfback Jay Tuwhiu played well.
For Ballina, five-eighth Luke Sullivan, hooker Craig Davy and back-rowers Danny Lickiss and Dru Baggaley were resolute.
Redmen three from three
GRAFTON bagged their third victory on the trot with a comprehensive 41-17 victory over a depleted Southern Cross University at Grafton Rugby Park.
The Redmen bulldozed the Students' crumbling forward pack and the Grafton backline, led by five-eighth John Chevally, made good use of the mountain of possession their forwards provided.
But the Gold Rats should not be too disheartened.
Despite having seven regular first-graders unavailable, SCU still had enough firepower to be level-pegging 17-all at half-time.
But you can't win games without the football and Grafton ground down Uni with a great display of brute force.
Prop Dan Haynes, flanker Tim Landrigan and centre Matt Coombes also stood out for the Redmen, while prop Peter Murphy and No8 Henry Vanderglas played strongly for Uni.
City sets the pace
LISMORE CITY remained at the top of the FNC ladder with an impressive 38-17 victory over Yamba at Yamba.
The Greens scored six tries to three to overpower a dogged Yamba outfit.
Despite the Buccaneers fighting all the way, Lismore dominated the exchanges that mattered with No8 Ray Taylor and flanker and captain Heath Conlan a consistent force around the field.
City skipped away to a handy half-time lead before Yamba fought back early in the second half with hooker Pete Davis and No8 Mitch McLennan prominent.
But City had enough firepower to put the Buccaneers to the sword late in the game and run out convincing victors.