Stuart Turner

Timber Cup triumph puts Southern Bundjalung in record books

ROY Bell said the opportunity to secure a place in the record books had spurred his Southern Bundjalung team to Timber Cup success.

Tries from David Briggs jnr, Corey Torrens and Kevin Torrens helped Southern claim this year's relaunched competition with a hard-fought 16-6 triumph over Northern Bundjalung.

Clarence Kelly was Northern's only try-scorer in Saturday's rain-soaked encounter at Lismore's Oakes Oval, which marked the rebirth of the contest after a seven-year absence.

Bell, who kicked two conversions as Southern held on for a 10-point win, said it was a sweet triumph.

"I think it means more to the boys (than a normal league match)," the Southern skipper said.

"Most of the boys had relatives who played in old Timber Cup.

"We spoke beforehand about it being the first one back. We wanted to win this."

Saturday's encounter was the first time the Timber Cup has been staged since 2006 and featured indigenous players from across the region.

The dreadful conditions meant both teams struggled to mount cohesive play, with the persistent rain causing plenty of handling errors.

"We only had one training session beforehand and that was on Friday night," Bell said.

"We are a pretty tight group, as are the Northern side, and we gelled together well.

"I think we handled the conditions a little better and were able to complete more of our sets. That was the difference."

Southern's Ryan Binge was named man of the match after a powerful display.

Bell said he hoped the match could become a regular date on the region's calendar.

"I think it's very important, not just for the Aboriginal community but for the whole league," he said.

"I think it brings a bit of life to the rugby league group around here.

"It was good to be a part of it."

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