Swamped by the ex-waterboy!
By STEVE SPINKS firstname.lastname@example.org
MID-WAY through the season Chad Duensing was the waterboy for the Ballina Seahorses. But on Saturday the flanker led Ballina to a gripping 46-32 Bangalow Hotel Far North Coast rugby union grand final victory over Grafton at Oakes Oval, Lismore. In scenes reminiscent of the Adam Sandler movie, The Waterboy, Duensing was the hero of the big football match after changing roles from the side's water carrier. Duensing didn't play until July after recovering from a neck and shoulder injury he suffered the year before. But such was his dominance in the grand final, Ballina coach Karl Lupton must be considering giving the tyro half a season off every year! The former Far North Coast representative simply dominated the breakdown with the assistance of fellow backrowers Liam Preston and James Bolton and he was also strong with the ball in hand. But it was Duensing's defence that was his hallmark. Quite simply, it was brutal. "He (Duensing) was great wasn't he," Lupton said. "The referee would have given him the three points for player of the match as well." But the Ballina effort wasn't a one-man band. Centres Luke Sullivan and Matt Wiggins were outstanding, scoring three tries between them and setting up many more. The front-row of Brent Horan, Craig Davy and John Doktor held their own against the much vaunted Grafton eight and halfback Troy Nichol had one of his best games in the No 9.