High injury toll in Bulls game
CASINO fought past Southern Cross University 26-12 in Far North Coast rugby union on Saturday – but the win could come at a heavy cost.
In an old-fashioned bash-athon, the Bulls were manhandled by a physical Gold Rats side early, but withstood the charge to get the points.
Tight forwards Marcus McCormack and Ross Larsson are in extreme doubt to travel to Grafton on Saturday after leaving the field with knee injuries.
They will be assessed today.
The Gold Rats had their own injury woes – the match was stopped for 15 minutes while Thomas Purcell was loaded into an ambulance.
The prop yesterday was cleared of serious injury after having scans on his neck.
Casino halfback Luke Serone stole the ascendancy and ultimately the match just after the resumption with a scything solo effort that caught Uni napping.
The try put his team ahead by 12 points with less than 15 minutes to play.
Although they remain winless and at the bottom of the ladder, Gold Rats coach John Jenkins is pleased with the improvement of his side that face premiers Lennox Head next weekend.
“Our boys are trying hard and the defence is great,” Jenkins said.
“But we just need a bit of work on our lineout and ball retention.”
Most of Jenkins’ squad are relative strangers to each other and also had the handicap of starting training weeks after the other teams in the competition.
“We just lack the old hard heads in the front row that most other clubs have,” he said.
“We have a new squad to start every year so it will take us a while to hit our straps, but we will get there.”
At Ballina, the competition’s leading try-scorers went toe-to-toe and came away deadlocked after grabbing one apiece.
But Ben Felicioni had the last laugh for Lismore as the Greens got home 21-14 over Ben Robinson and the Seahorses.
Lennox Head also remained undefeated with a 50-10 towellingof Grafton at home.
Braidon Boniface scored twice in the eight-tries-to-one rout that leaves Grafton without a competition point after three games.
Casino 26 (Justin Zaiko, Carl Tahatu, Luke Serone, Nathan Quirk tries, Stephen Murchie 2, Brenton Fuller conversions) d Southern Cross University 12 (Brett Johnston, Andrew Smith tries, James Jeffress conversion)
Lismore 21 (Ben Felicioni, Stephen Prosser, tries, Matt Bermingham 1 conversion, 3 penalty goals) d Ballina 14 (Ben Robinson, Brett McLennan tries, Luke Watling 2 conversions)
Lennox Head 50 (Braidon Boniface 2, Alex Siebel, Corey Windle, Tony Buchanan, Harry Witt, Matt Liddle, Harry Bungate tries, Braidon Boniface 3, Corey Windle, Tony Buchanan conversion) d Grafton 10 (Bill Hickson try, Kyle Hancock conversion, penalty goal)
Pointscore: Lismore 18, Lennox Head 14, Ballina 11, Casino 9, Wollongbar-Alstonville 5, Grafton 0, Southern Cross University 0