Youngsters repay the faith of coach
BALLINA centre Joel Staude recorded his first try-scoring double as the Seahorses thumped Lennox Head 30-10 in Far North Coast rugby union on Saturday.
The game was effectively over as a contest by half-time with the Seahorses taking a commanding 27-3 lead at Quays Reserve, Ballina.
Ballina scored four tries in the first half with the Staude double the highlight.
He caused the opposition backline all kinds of headaches every time he hit the line.
Winger Justin Walkely backed his pace and scored a brilliant try before halfback Mitchell Knight grubbered a ball through to score under the cross-bar just before half-time.
The win provided plenty of satisfaction for Ballina coach John Dokter, who took a punt on promoting young players such as Knight and Staude at the start of the season.
Lennox Head were missing some players but never really looked like threatening the home side.
Ballina also had injuries to deal with, losing captain Andrew Burke midway through the first half.
Winger Lachlan Crawford scored the only Lennox Head try, using his blistering speed to get past several defenders.
To the Trojans' credit, they never dropped their heads.
Second-rower Curtis Miles and centre Paul Crozier led the way.
Flanker George Scott, No 8 Sean Grace and Staude were Ballina's best.
In other games:
Wollongbar-Alstonville inflicted a 93-0 mauling on Casino at Lyle Park, Wollongbar.
Winger Ed Jenkins scored four while Penaia Leatigaga, Jack Downie, Rhys McNaughton and Justin Keir all bagged doubles.
Bangalow winger Chris Bleakley scored a hat-trick when the Rebels belted Southern Cross University 55-0 at the Bangalow Sportsground.
Grafton received maximum points after Byron Bay forfeited.
Lismore had the bye.
FNC RUGBY SCOREBOARD
Wollongbar-Alstonville 93 (Ed Jenkins 4, Penaia Leatigaga 2, Jack Downie 2, Rhys McNaughton 2, Justyn Keir 2, Nick Jones, Ben Damen, Nat Regueira, tries, Ben Damen 6, Tom Steer 3 conversions) d Casino 0. Half-time: 55-0.
Ballina 30 (Joel Staude 2, Justin Walkley, Mitch Knight tries, Luke Watling 2 conversions, 2 penalty goals) d Lennox Head 10 (Lachlan Crawford try, Adam Gordon conversion, penalty goal). Half-time: 27-3.
Bangalow 55 (Chris Bleakley 3, Ben Farrow 2, Will Latham, Jake Brumley, James Coventry, Dan Hill tries, Will Latham 5 conversions) d Southern Cross University 0. Half-time: 43-0.
Grafton 30 d Byron Bay 0 (forfeit).
Pointscore: Wollongbar-Alstonville 36, Lismore 31, Lennox Head 30, Ballina 26, Bangalow 21, Grafton 20, Byron Bay 14, Casino 4, Southern Cross University 0.