Around the Grounds - Round 8. Ballina vs Byron Bay
With an improved Byron Bay and only one game to be played, it was a balmy day for the Seahorses to take on the much fancied Men of All Nations. The Women’s 7’s also got a run.
go the seahorses.
First Grade Report - Byron Bay match - Andrew Fraser
Ballina Seahorses travelled to Byron on the weekend and it was not for the charity walk.
There was only one senior men’s game and it saw our 1st grade side up against the Barbarians of the Bay. Byron was a large physical side with a number of nationalities, including a large inside centre who landed in the country the morning of the game.
That said - Ballina began well with a 6 phase try to Tupou Lolohea and another quick score to Luke Simpson not long after that.
We skipped out to an early lead but poor defensive decisions and a mounting penalty count saw Byron peg back the points and have both sides level . Simpson crossed for his second try and Byron struck back soon after. Ballina not helping themselves with last passes going astray or ongoing missed tackles. The teams went to the break at 19-19 all.
Byron started the second half strong with 2 tries in 10 minutes. 19-29.
Beau Clarke finished a well worked team try off set piece to reduce the deficit. The conversion sailed wide. 24-29 to the Barbarians.
Again, discipline from Ballina players cost the side a penalty goal and at 24-32 with twenty minutes to go - the match was poised for an exciting finish.
To the credit of the playing group - they started to camp down near the Byron try line. Quick thinking from Siua Kolota saw him take a quick tap and bounce off the upright to score. Simpson kicked a conversion in front. 31-32 to the Bay.
Incredibly Ballina were down to 14 men after a yellow card for repeated infringements. In a display of desire and will to win, the Seahorses fired up.
Byron kicked deep but good field position and now better discipline and accurate tackling saw the Seahorses mount further pressure.
Byron pinned Ballina deep into the corner of the home team supporters. A high pressure line out win was secured by Ballina. Nicky Brydon received clean ball and the ever present Luke Simpson was fed into a wide hole and ran 80 metres to score under the sticks. The conversion was made and Ballina were in front 36-32.
The ensuing 5 minutes was gripping. Brydon kicked deep and the Bay were forced to attack from deep. The Seahorses mustered themselves and made numerous tackles over 13 phases and then another passage of 8 phases.
The full time whistle was welcomed and Ballina deserved winners in a tight tussle.
The 1st grade side is still gelling and forging combinations. The spirit of the playing squad from the last 20 minutes is encouraging and something to build on. Young players like Marcus Lees and Jakob O'Connor starting to show some promise in the top level.
Players player was Beau Clarke who was lively in a number of positions. It is also noted that those players off the bench such as Naulivau, Cribb, Pippo also made valuable contributions.
3. Isaac Pratten
2. Nick Brydon
1. Brad Brown.
This week we are home to the Casino Bulls.
Hang about after the game for some Kava with the boys...!!!!
Second Grade Report -
Presidents Cup Report -
Womens 7’s - Byron bay match - Paul Giltrap
Well, after the euphoria of the previous weeks great win, we were dealt a harsh lesson in attitude by a well coached and very athletic Byron Bay side 25-7.
The 1st game ended with us shell-shocked and trailing 3 tries to 0.
The 2nd of the two games saw the introduction of a ticketed, neutral Referee, and this along with a much improved and focused attitude, resulted in the girls playing with some good skills, confidence and teamwork, Beinkies try was a highlight. Looking forward to this weeks game and getting it right.
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