FINAL HURDLE: The Far North Coast open rugby union team after reaching the final of the Richardson Shield at Port Macquarie yesterday.
FINAL HURDLE: The Far North Coast open rugby union team after reaching the final of the Richardson Shield at Port Macquarie yesterday.

Far North Coast falls at the final hurdle at Port

FAR North Coast reached the final of the Richardson Shield where they were beaten 31-17 by Mid North Coast in the NSW Country rugby union champion- ships at Port Macquarie.

The Dolphins looked good early before back-to-back tries allowed Mid North Coast to lead 21-12 at half-time.

FNC were always going to be in a good position after a first-up win when they beat Central Coast 50-41 on Saturday.

Fullback Sam Kerry and winger Rusiate Longanimasi each bagged try-scoring doubles in that game.

Longanimasi went on to score a hat-trick in a 43-19 win over Western Plains later in the afternoon.

The FNC Under-19s had a memorable weekend, taking out the Colts Shield with a convincing 31-5 win over Illawarra.

Gold Rats surprise

THE Southern Cross University Gold Rats have continued their impressive start to the season by upsetting competition heavy- weights Byron Bay 20-12 last Thursday night.

The Rats signalled their intent early, matching the intensity and physicality of their more-fancied opponents.

They took a 7-0 lead into the half-time break when winger Sydney Gouffault finished off a slick backline move to cross in the corner.

Five-eighth Latrell Hampton scored his third try in as many games this season before SCU were forced to weather a fierce Byron Bay fightback which squared the game up at 12-all.

A try to flanker Ben Prozinski continued the counter-punching nature of the game and a late penalty goal from player of the match Zach Hyatt made the competition points safe for the home team.

"We knew it was going to be a physical game, but we also knew that if we matched them on that front we had the skill players to do some damage with the ball,” SCU coach Josh Condon said.

"We identified some areas we thought we could exploit, but the credit all goes to the players who executed those plans.”

After a general bye at the weekend, club rugby will resume on Saturday, with SCU travelling to Casuarina Beach; Lennox Head hosting Bangalow at Williams Reserve; Casino at home at Albert Park to Wollongbar-Alstonville; and Lismore clashing with Ballina at Lismore Rugby Park.



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