Rams run hot at Yamba
A POLISHED display by Marist Brothers in a 42-16 thrashing of Lower Clarence at Yamba Oval yesterday in the Retravision Northern League left coach David Krause beaming.
The Magpies were humbled by a marauding Marist Brothers, who looked like a side capable of making their mark in semi-finals football.
"To score a win like that against real quality opposition that have been beating sides pretty well was very pleasing," Krause said.
"Our guys turned up ready to play today and we showed what we are capable of. Our forwards totally out-muscled their forward pack and gave our backline plenty of room.
"Honestly, I thought this was our season today. I put it on the boys: If we win today it puts us in a good spot, if we lose we drop four points below Lower Clarence. The Rams have a good run to the finals and are just getting better."
Lower Clarence were flat-footed in defence from the kick-off and the Rams didn't waste time taking advantage of whatever breaks they were offered.
They scored their first try after five minutes and even though the Magpies struck back quickly with a converted try that put them 6-4 in front, they never looked the better side.
The Rams played with good discipline and skill, and their sets of six were well executed, gaining 50 or 60 metres each time, before good kicks kept the Magpies pinned down in their own half.
Robust forward play was finished off with quick and decisive runs from the backs, who found gaps with increasing ease.
Brothers led 22-10 at half-time.
"They just outplayed us around the ruck areas. They were too quick for us. They were on their toes before the game and they took that on to the field," Lower Clarence spokesman Tony Wiseman said.
"Coming off a couple of wins we expected to play well here today but we just didn't perform ... the game was virtually gone at half-time."
Any lingering doubts about the result were extinguished early in the second half.
Despite spending plenty of time in the Rams' half, the Magpies just couldn't break through the defence and score the first points to lauch a fightback.
Instead, after the initial onslaught the forward pack started to slow down and mistakes crept into the Magpies' game.
After defending well and earning a set of six on their five-metre line they coughed up possession on the first tackle. The resulting try to Brothers was predictable. ]
From then on the game opened up and the Rams' strong backline scored freely.
In all, Brothers crossed for eight tries to three. MARIST BROTHERS 42 (D Coleman 2, E Hickling, B Foster, W Kativerata, N Vakararawa, J Campbell, L Campbell tries; J Campbell 5 goals) d %LOWER CLARENCE 16 (B McDonald, M Randall, P Donovan tries; A Taylor 2 goals). , In other games at the weekend: n Mullumbimby leapfrogged the Tweed Coast Raiders into second place with a 40-22 win at Mullumbimby on Saturday night. n Byron came out on top 44-38 in a high-scoring encounter against Kyogle Turkeys at Kyogle yesterday. n Competition leaders Ballina defeated Cudgen 42-22 at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina. n Murwillumbah got the better of the Casino Cougars 30-20 at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino. n Grafton Ghosts came from behind to beat cross-town rivals South Grafton 36-28 at McKittrick Park, South Grafton (see report this page).