Brothers sneak fifth
BYRON BAY second-rower Scott Sattler scored a try and set up two when the Red Devils beat the Northern United Dirawongs 40-18 in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Byron Bay yesterday.
The Sattler try came late in the second half and sealed the Dirawongs' fate with the loss meaning they miss the semi-finals for the first time since entering the competition in 2009.
United's Lismore rivals Marist Brothers sneaked in to the last place in the play-offs.
Sattler, a premiership-winning Penrith Panthers player from 2003, was one of the best on the field and played the full 80 minutes.
"Yeah, he loves it, I can't get him off," Byron Bay coach Tobin Cupples said. "Just his presence is a big help and he's still really fit for a 40-year-old."
A short ball from Sattler helped deliver centre Chris King his third try of the afternoon.
Two tries to Dirawongs centre Chris Swan kept the visitors in it but the Byron forwards continued to make metres up the middle.
The Red Devils contained Northern United front-rowers Les Rob-erts and Jake Ngauamo, shutting down the second-phase play which the Dirawongs have had so much success from this season.
Second-rower Peter Flannery and prop Simon Kelly toiled hard all afternoon with some handy contributions from Eli Colby off the bench.
The Dirawongs' best players were fullback Roy Bell and second-rower James Roberts.
Brothers recorded a 54-12 win over the Mullumbimby Giants to take fifth spot on the ladder.
It was a sweet afternoon for the Rams after just missing out on the semi-finals in 2010 and 2011.
Minor premiers Murwillumbah were made to work for a 25-18 win over Ballina at Stan Sercombe Oval, Murwillumbah.
The Mustangs shot out to an 18-0 lead but Ballina's fitness kept them in it, the Seagulls scoring three tries in the second half.
Grafton Ghosts delivered the Lower Clarence Magpies the wood-en spoon with a 46-6 thrashing.
And Kyogle added insult to a long list of Evans Head injuries with a 44-14 win on Saturday.
HOW IT FINISHED UP
Final points ladder:
Murwillumbah 30, Grafton Ghosts 26, Byron Bay 24, Ballina 22, Marist Brothers 20, Northern United 19, Evans Head 16, Kyogle 14, Casino 8, Mullumbimby 7, Lower Clarence 6
Saturday: Ballina v Marist Brothers at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina
Sunday: Grafton Ghosts v Byron Bay at Frank McGuren Field, Grafton