Trojans make rugby statement
LENNOX HEAD has shown who is boss in FNC rugby union with a 31-0 drubbing of competition leaders Wollongbar-Alstonville at Williams Res-erve, Lennox Head, on Saturday.
The Trojans wanted to make a statement – and that they did as they ran over the top of a tiring Pioneers squad to grab the bonus point with four second-half tries.
Going into the game the Pioneers were false competition leaders after twice being awarded the points from losses where their opponents had breached player registration policy.
In the lead-up to the match, Lennox coach Paul Jeffrey said those issues hadn't been spoken about at training but captain Jeff Wilson always had it in the back of his mind.
“We really wanted to make a statement,” Wilson said.
“To let everyone know that we should be on top of the table.”
And when Sam Stewart grabbed his first Trojans try of 2010 in the dying stages Lennox sealed the bonus point and drew a single point clear of the Pioneers at the top of the ladder.
“We were really gunning for that bonus point,” Wilson said.
And in a stark warning to all challengers to the Trojans' title, Wilson said there was plenty more to come.
“We still have a bit of improvement in us,” he said. “It's a long season and you don't want to peak too early.”
The battle was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests – the Trojans led just 5-0 at the break and pulled away only with three late tries.
The Trojans' centres, Stewart and Braidon Boniface, look to be the best around while Wilson paid tribute to the work of lock Ben Rampling.
Wilson and Rampling are the proud fathers of the world's newest Trojans fans, Remy and Noah, who were born on successive days earlier this month.
In other games on Saturday:
Ballina pulled away late in the game from Southern Cross University to prevail 26-5.
But the win came at a heavy cost with captain and hooker Jacques Lotter in serious doubt for the next month after injuring his knee.
Seahorses coach Mick McGregor was impressed with SCU, which he said had improved dramatically since the sides met in the opening round.
Utility forward Ryan Hamilton had his best game of the year at No 8, while tight-head prop Geoff St Clair suffered one of the more sickening injuries seen on a football field when his eyeball popped out of its socket.
Lismore ran in seven tries to beat the Redmen 43-12 at Grafton.
Coach Richard Hughes rejigged his backline and it paid dividends when they clicked after about 20 minutes.
Grafton scored first but with Ben Felicioni chiming in from fullback and Scott Lancaster (halfback) and Matt Bermingham (flyhalf) moving closer to the ruck, the Greens were too slick.
Lismore captain Matt Collins pounced on a grubber to break a four-year scoring drought in the first-half and after the ensuing celebration his team never looked back.