FNC rugby union: Leatigaga dominates, Fifita makes hat-trick
WOLLONGBAR-Alstonville winger Vinnie Leatigaga scored 36 individual points while Byron Bay demolished Lismore City 47-0 in Far North Coast rugby union.
Leatigaga scored four tries and kicked eight goals in an 83-3 win over Casino at Lyle Park, Wollongbar, on Saturday.
It is his first season at the club and he was selected in the initial NSW Country Cockatoos squad before the final team was picked.
Five-eighth Ben Damen set the Pioneers club record last year with 51 points when he scored five tries and kicked 13 conversions.
Damen and Wollongbar No 8 Jerry Faifaise were away playing for NSW Country in a 24-18 loss to Sydney Sub Districts at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.
In other games, Byron Bay flanker Michael Armstrong scored three tries in the win over Lismore City at Lismore Rugby Park.
Fullback Harvey Bell bagged another double as Byron won its fourth consecutive game.
The win sets up a big home game against Wollongbar-Alstonville at the Byron Bay Recreation Ground on Saturday.
The teams are equal on 20 competition points and it should be the best game of the season so far.
Elsewhere, flanker Otty Fifita scored a hat-trick for Bangalow in a 41-5 win over Southern Cross University at Maurie Ryan Ovalin Lismore on Friday night.
Whether Fifita plays front row or flanker the Rebels are always a better side when he is on the field.
Fifita went to Sydney earlier this month for a training camp with the NSW Country team
The Gold Rats held Bangalow to just a 10-0 lead at half-time before the flood gates opened in the second half.
And a penalty goal to Lennox Head halfback Adam Gordon proved the difference in the Trojans' 15-13 win over the Grafton Redmen at Grafton Rugby Park.
Lennox Head are back at home this weekend when they host competition leaders Ballina.
SCU will fancy its chances when it hosts Lismore City in the other local derby.
City is yet to win a game this season with Casino also struggling at the bottom on the ladder.
FNC RUGBY UNION SCOREBOARD
- Bangalow 41 (Otty Fifita 3, Lewis Jones, Jock Craigie, Chris Bleakley, Matt Morgan tries, Ollie James 3 conversions) d Southern Cross University 5 (Brett Johnston try). Half-time: 10-0.
- Wollongbar-Alstonville 83 (Vinnie Leatigaga 4, Bill Johnston 2, Matt Nean 2, Jarrod Wylie, Sam Opetaia, Sam Kerry, James Vidler, Nick Chee tries, Vinnie Leataigaga 8, Sam Kerry conversions) d Casino 3 (Sam Dietrich penalty goal). Half-time: 38-3.
- Byron Bay 47 (Michael Armstrong 3, Harvey Bell 2, Troy Wynter, Brend-en Lewsey tries, Sion King 6 conversions) d Lismore 0. Half-time: 15-0.
- Lennox Head 15 (Mick Muir, Paul Crozier tries, Adam Gordon conversion, penalty goal) d Grafton 13 (Kyle Hancock, Brenon Lavery tries, Paul Cameron penalty goal). Half-time: Lennox Head 12-5.
- Bye: Ballina.
- Pointscore: Ballina 25, Wollongbar-Alstonville 20, Byron Bay 20, Lennox Head 17, Bangalow 12, Grafton 10, Southern Cross University 5, Lismore 2, Casino 0.
- Reserve grade: Yamba 33 d Bangalow 0, Wollongbar-Alstonville 66 d Casino 0, Lennox Head 40 d Grafton 31, Ballina 13 d Murwillumbah 10, Evans River 37 d Lismore 7.
- President's Cup: Wollongbar-Alstonville 12 d Lismore 8, Mullumbimby 17 d Ballina 7, Kyogle 7 d Grafton 5.