Byron Bay Devils out-muscle their opponents
BYRON Bay, Evans Head and Northern United fired some early warning shots in the first round of Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at the weekend.
Byron Bay outmuscled and outplayed Ballina in a 33-20 win at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, on Sunday.
The Red Devils have lost Bill King, Chris King, James Griffiths and Hemi Mullen from last season.
However centre Brad Lees, fullback Sean Deaves and winger Hayden Rosenbaum all played well filling some of the vacant positions.
Meanwhile, Chris King wasted no time in making a good first impression at his new club.
King scored a hat-trick for Northern United against Mullumbimby in a 34-8 win.
Evans Head also fought back from an 18-4 deficit and went on to beat Marist Brothers in Lismore.
The Bombers ran out winners 26-18 but coach Luke Turner wasn't getting too far ahead of himself.
"I'm really happy with the two points but we didn't play exceptionally well," Turner said.
"The bulk of the team have been training together for five months and our fitness got us home," he said.
"Once we held on to the ball and completed our sets we were able to start scoring points."
Turner lauded front-rower Josh Cook, five-eighth Chris Swann and hooker Matt Toole.
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New recruit Liam Anderson also spent time between centre and fullback and Jared Waters made some handy contributions off the bench.
"We probably have a bit more spark in the backline this year and it's something we really needed," Turner said.
"When we can complete our sets things happen off the back of it."
In other games, Murwillumbah snuck home with an 18-12 win over Casino.
Cudgen also won its first game back in the NRRRL after a three-year hiatus.
It beat Lower Clarence 36-18 at the Maclean Showground.