Seagulls now the real deal
BALLINA Seagulls have claimed their first big scalp of the year in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League with a thorough 26-6 defeat of Cudgen at their Kingsford Smith Park home yesterday.
The win lifts the Seagulls above the Hornets and into equal third spot alongside Byron Bay.
Captain Ben Crawford said it was important that his side established themselves with their first win over a top-five team heading into the finals.
“The boys were a bit disappointed with what they read in The Northern Star last week (their record against the top sides was three games without a win),” he said.
“That provided us with a bit of motivation to prove that we are up there with the better sides.”
And the Seagulls did just that with Jason Clarke and Damien Sironen leading the side into a stiff southerly breeze as they established a 14-6 half-time lead.
“Siro brings a lot of enthusiasm back to the camp after a few weeks away playing rep footy,” Crawford said of his teenage tearaway.
“We were pretty confident coming back for the second half knowing that we would have the breeze behind us.”
Two second-half tries allowed them to stretch the advantage and shift their focus to next week.
“It’s a big game for us against United,” Crawford said.
“It would be good to build some momentum at this end of the year and that is what we will try to do.”
With just two points separating second from seventh every match is crucial for the top sides.
Northern United tuned up for next week’s battle with Ballina by belting Tweed Coast 78-6 at Les Berger Field, Cabarita.
For and against will no doubt enter the calculations for the final standings and the Dirawongs have done themselves a favour with back-to-back thrashings.
Roy Bell was again sublime with four tries but was outdone by winger David Briggs jnr, who grabbed five.
But more than all the tries, coach Chris Binge is happy that his men are seeing the fruits of his game plan.
“The most pleasing aspect of the win is that not once did we deviate from the set structure,” he said.