Trojans win union grand final
Jeffery was describing the poise, patience and pizzazz Lismore City displayed in taking a 19-7 half-time lead into their Far North Coast rugby union grand final on Saturday.
But it wasn’t enough, and what followed from Lennox Head really was a freakish display of near perfect running rugby.
The Trojans’ ability to score tries from seemingly impossible positions saw them claim back-to-back premierships with a 28-19 win over the gallant Greens at Crozier Field in Lismore.
Lennox Head left it until late in the game to snatch victory, causing the club’s large legion of lime green-daubed fans plenty of heart-stopping moments.
Trojans winger Matthew Aherne levelled the scores at 19-all with about 10 minutes to play with a well-worked try that ended with him crashing over in the left corner.
“I just said to the boys, ‘Let’s keep attacking that wing’, because they just seemed to be not covering it,” Aherne said.
“So we just had a good crack down there, and that was it. Simple as that, good fun.”
The prospect of some extra time loomed, but nuggetty Lennox Head fullback Adam Gordon stepped up and potted a pressure conversion, into a tricky breeze, to put the Trojans back in front for the first time since scoring the opening try in the first five minutes.
NSW Country representative Sam Stewart then made sure of the result for Lennox Head by crashing through some ragged defence to score the ‘icing on the cake’ try next to the posts, with Gordon duly adding the extras.
To their credit, the Greens didn’t give in and attacked the Trojans’ line for the rest of the match with plenty of menace, but no luck.
Lismore’s attacking flair clearly surprised Jeffery, who was expecting the Greens to play a more grinding style of forwards-based rugby.
“They used the wind in the first half really well. They played flawless football in the first half,” Jeffery said.
“They got some really quick ball movement, which I didn’t expect them to do.
“Each time we’ve seen Lismore play, they sort of like the grinding pick and drive, slower style of football.
“To go down by 19-7, we knew we were in for an arm wrestle, we knew we were in for a game, but we never panicked because we knew we had plenty of points in us.”
After being stung by Lennox Head’s first try against the run of play, the Greens fought back and dominated 75 to 80 per cent of possession in the first half. And they were lucky not to lead by more than 12 points after having a try disallowed.
“In all honesty at half-time I thought we were on track in that first half,” Greens coach Ron Cox said.
“That one disallowed try in the first half probably hurt us in the end. That is probably all it would have taken to seal that game.
“They (Lennox) did look a bit stung in that first half, but they are a quality team and they deserve the reward.”
The Greens also scored some spectacular tries. Their second of the match was a beauty, with centre Will Cotterill accepting an overhead ‘basketball’ style pass from Ben Felicioni to cross in the right corner.
Cox also praised the efforts of Stephen Hughes, Glenn Paisley and captain Heath Conlon.
The expected fireworks between the two teams never really eventuated, although Trojans captain Jamie Tredinnick and Cotterill were sin-binned for niggling incidents in the second half.
Referee Graham Cook, in his 20th consecutive grand final appearance, kept both teams on a tight leash, issuing plenty of warnings before resorting to more drastic action.