Pioneers dent City's record
WOLLONGBAR-Alstonville has become the first side to knock off Lismore in Far North Coast rugby union, grinding out a 13-11 win at Lismore Rugby Park.
The Pioneers led all the way in the two-tries-to-one slugfest, but it was no cakewalk.
Lismore threw everything at the Pioneers’ line in the closing stages as they searched for the knockout blow on Saturday but cameup empty-handed.
Greens coach Richard Hughes said the loss wouldn’t hurt his team.
“Wollongbar played good rugby today – damn good,” Hughes said.
“They came out like a bullet from a gun and caught us on the hop and had us playing catch-up from go.”
Tries to Ben Damen and Kent Sharman put the Pioneers in front but it was Damen’s boot which proved decisive – a late penalty goal sealing the win.
The Greens were dealt a telling blow early with gun centre Stephen Hughes carried off with a knee injury.
His departure caused a major reshuffle of the backline which the previously unbeaten side couldn’t overcome.
With the club bye and two general byes to come, Hughes has plenty of time to be right for the Greens’ June 19 clash with Lennox Head.
Defending premiers Lennox Head remain the only unbeaten club in 2010 after disposing of the undermanned Southern Cross University side 29-7 at the weekend.
Winger Tony Buchanan crossed for two tries to take his season tally to five as the Trojans ran in five tries to one.
At Grafton, two second-half tries to Adam Gould helped Casino put back-to-back wins on the board with a 26-15 win over the Redmen on the road.
Grafton drew first blood but the dominance of the Bulls’ forwards soon shone through with Craig Connelly the standout.
Leading 12-10 at the break, the Bulls came out and put eight phases together immediately for Gould to score next to the posts and open up the biggest margin of the match.
His second try, about 20 minutes later, clinched it.
Bulls coach Darren Winkler was pleased to see his forwards play to their potential.
“We were really structured for the majority of the match,” Winkler said.
“The forwards controlled the ball as well as you could hope for – out loose forwards were outstanding at the breakdown.”
The Bulls’ next test comes against Lennox next week.
“That is the tester,” Winkler said. “We will see howwe are going after that.”