SCU scrum half Matt Anderson clears the ball from a ruck against Ballina on Saturday.
SCU scrum half Matt Anderson clears the ball from a ruck against Ballina on Saturday.

Bangalow wins first game of the season

BANGALOW won its first game of the season while Ballina made it five in a row to remain undefeated in Far North Coast rugby union.

Winger Chris Bleakley bagged a try-scoring double as Bangalow ran out 44-10 winners over Casino at Schultz Oval, Bangalow, on Saturday.

It wa s a pleasing result for the Rebels as they had to do it without front-rower Otty Fifita, who was at a training camp in Sydney with the NSW Country Cockatoos squad.

Elsewhere, Ballina ran in 12 tries in a 78-0 canter against Southern Cross University at Quays Reserve, Ballina.

 

Veteran winger Jamie Coote was a late inclusion for Ballina and scored two tries in the first half.

Five-eighth Grant Knight dominated again with flanker Brock Holland a handful for the defence.

Full credit to SCU, which began its warm-up preparations before the game with only 12 players.

In other games, Wollongbar-Alstonville second-rower Steve Mison returned from injury and scored two tries in a 31-3 win over Lennox Head at Lyle Park, Wollongbar.

It was a grand final rematch and the first loss of the season for the Trojans.

The only points for Lennox came in the first half with a penalty goal to centre Martin McNamara.

In an ominous sign for the rest of the competition, the Pioneers won comfortably without five-eighth Ben Damen, No 8 Jerry Faifaise and winger Kalavini Leatigaga, who were away with NSW Country.

In the other game, Grafton beat Lismore City 21-14 at Lismore Rugby Park.

The Grafton front-row was the difference with tight-head prop Beau Brotherson scoring two tries and hooker Sean Austin also crossing for the Redmen.

Lismore remain winless near the bottom of the ladder with Casino.

 

FNC RUGBY UNION SCOREBOARD

Ballina 78 (Grant Knight 2, Joel Staude 2, Kye Spence 2, Jamie Coote 2, Ryan Boardman, Joe Jansson, Brock Holland, Chris Long tries; Grant Knight 6, Ryan Boardman 3 conversions) d Southern Cross University 0. Half-time: 59-0.

Wollongbar Alstonville 31 (Steven Mison 2, Justyn Keir, Jarrod Wyllie, Terry Murphy tries; Sam Kerry 3 conversions) d Lennox Head 3 (Martin McNamara penalty goal). Half-time: 19-3.

Bangalow 44 (Chris Bleakley 2, Lewis Jones, Tim Mundy, Jono Roel, Ollie James tries; Matt Morgan 4 conversions, 2 penalty goals) d Casino 10 (Kurt Russell try; Sam Dietrich conversion, penalty goal). Half-time: 27-10.

Grafton 21 (Beau Brotherson 2, Sean Austin tries; Paul Cameron 3 conversions) d Lismore 14 (Ben Briggs, Dean Mathews tries; Chris Clark 2 conversions). Half-time: Grafton 14-0.

Bye: Byron Bay.

Pointscore: Ballina 25, Wollongbar-Alstonville 15, Byron Bay 15, Lennox Head 13, Grafton 9, Bangalow 7, Southern Cross University 5, Lismore 2, Casino 0.

Reserve grade: Ballina 34 d Yamba 0, Wollongbar-Alstonville 35 d Lennox Head 26, Grafton 17 d Lismore 14, Bangalow 10 d Casino 0, Murwillumbah 25 d Evans River 10.

President's Cup: Ballina 19 d Wollongbar-Alstonville 12, Mullumbimby 19 d Kyogle 0, Lismore 33 d Grafton 0.



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