Dolphins seize victory
THEY cut it mighty fine but the Far North Coast Dolphins continued their Observer Trophy rugby union hoodoo over Mid-North Coast Axemen with a 24-22 victory at Coffs Harbour on Saturday.
As time ticked away, Mid-North Coast made one last surge when flanker Kris Kent launched a desperate bid to score what could have been the winning touchdown in the corner, but despite the appearance of some interference just short of the line, referee Andrew Birch couldn't be convinced.
Birch had already dabbled in controversy by awarding a penalty try to the home side which mystified even the Axemen's supporters.
However, the Dolphins deserved to prevail, having been the more industrious side for most of an enthralling game.
Winning coach John Jenkins maintained his lads should never have put themselves in a position to receive a scare in the dying stages.
“We were scrappy and should have scored more tries,” he said.
Mid-North Coast had a flood of early ball but the best they could come up with was a penalty goal.
After a period when everything bogged down into a midfield arm-wrestle, Chris Tout found a gap on half-way and Jordan Macey hared across to register a converted try for an early 10-0 lead.
FNC hit back with their own penalty and converted try to level, and scored another try before the break.
Play became bogged down but the penalty try made it 17-all and the sniff of an upset was momentarily in the air.
“I was pleased we hit back again so quickly after that. We may have clinched the game at that point,” Jenkins said.
The Dolphins won a scrum near half-way and with nothing much on offer, the ball was sent straight to open spaces with a try resulting on the fourth pass.