Nathan Jones prepped for Nationals
BALLINA Touch prodigy Nathan Jones led Australia back from the dead to roll New Zealand in the trans-Tasman tournament.
The former Ballina Bull Shark was vice-captain of the side that came back from one game down in the three-match series, and 4-1 down in the decider to clinch the title in Auckland.
The women’s and mixed teams also won their series to give Australia a clean sweep.
The men’s team, captained by Australian rugby sevens representative Drumayne Dayberg-Muir, produced a stunning comeback with Dayberg-Muir scoring in the final minute to snatch a 7-6 victory.
New Zealand grabbed an early three-try lead courtesy of a pair of long-distance intercept tries, but Australia held strong to drag themselves back into the match.
“We knew we were still in it,” Jones said.
“They scored a couple of lucky tries. We just had to hang tough and we ground out the win.”
Jones, now based on the Gold Coast, has his next Touch mission at the national club championships in March where he will play for his adopted home town.
The Gold Coast side will be coached by another former Far North Coast player, Lismore’s Mook Harrington.