Star status as league legends go for trot in Coffs hills
By STEVE SPINKS
THERE were movie stars, football stars and Byron Bay at the Orara Valley Axeman International Rugby League Sevens Tournament at Coramba over the weekend.
Byron Bay made the round of 16 at the inaugural $15,000 tournament, but bowed out to Macksville 36-30 early yesterday morning.
Byron made it through to Sunday's finals by accounting for Orara Valley Gold 30-14 and the Grafton Ghosts 24-16.
However, they found Fiji A ? an Australia Fiji Association team ? too tough and went down 18-4 in their pool game.
But because they finished second in their pool they progressed to yesterday's finals.
The eventual winners of the tournament were the Lebanese Cedars who accounted for the Sydney Metro All-Stars 44-16 in the final.
The Cedars were led by former Tiger and now Dragons player Hasan Saleh and picked up a cool $10,000 for their trouble.
They progressed to the final by defeating the Sydney Bulls, while the Metro All-Stars knocked out the Maltese Knights, with Mario Fenech, in the other semi-final.
The Sydney Bulls, which was made up of Jim Beam Cup players, were the side who earned the most attention after they knocked out the high-flying Barbarians team in the quarter-finals.
The Barbarians team included league luminaries such as Gorden Tallis, Cliff Lyons, Mark Geyer, Tim Brasher and Phil Blake.
Local movie star Russell Crowe made an appearance for the Barbarians as body guard Mark Carroll was the captain.
Crowe set up a try during his limited time on the field and was later heard to remark that it had been the realisation of his childhood dream playing with some of the footy legends in the side.
The Nana Glen-based actor sponsored the event, which is set to become an annual tournament.