Monster mash for City
A BARNSTORMING two-try effort from Lismore City No 8 Joe Akkersdyk helped lift the Greens to a pulsating 20-13 victory over Wollongbar-Alstonville in Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Union on Saturday.
Akkersdyk scored the decisive try in the 75th minute from a rolling maul which pushed City into the lead for the first time during the match at Lismore Rugby Park.
“Joe won’t like me saying this but he was a monster out there,” Greens captain-coach Will Cotterill said.
“We tried to throw the ball around too much in the first half but went back to a simple game in the second half and that’s where we were strong. The Pioneers can beat anyone in the comp but I thought they kicked too much instead of trying to run it more.”
The Pioneers were left to ponder what might have been after a dominant first half saw them take a 13-5 lead. Elusive fullback Max Venables put the visitors up 5-0 in the second minute courtesy of a pinpoint face pass from inside centre James Nean.
From there, Wollongbar five-eighth Ben Damen ran the show, kicking long and to the corners and putting the City outside backs under pressure with his towering bombs.
Following Akkersdyk’s first try, courtesy of a neat blindside move initiated by his halfback Scott Lancaster, Damen bombed to the heavens and Pioneers winger Nick Dufficy regathered.
Dufficy then put his captain and second-rower Matt Scott in for a try out wide. Damen then kicked a penalty for the half-time lead.
However, the Greens went back to basics in the second half, playing simple but effective wet weather football.
They enjoyed the weight of possession in the second stanza but it was not until the 68th minute when outside centre Matt Bermingham scored out wide to level the scores. Akkersdyk then dealt the killer blow.
Pioneers coach Ben Grayndler rated his side’s performance among his side’s best this season.
Lennox Head recorded a 45-0 win over Southern Cross University at Williams Reserve, but the reigning premiers only held a 5-0 half-time lead over the last-placed Gold Rats.
Trojans second-rower Isaac Foley was best on ground with his brutal defence and tireless support play.
And Casino Bulls hung on to win 8-5 in a forwards slugfest away to Grafton Redmen.
Hooker Brendan Hyde put the Bulls up after a rolling maul in the 45th minute and the visitors were never headed from there. The Bulls defended their line with vigour in the last 10 minutes after losing Stephen Murchie to the sin bin.