Around the Grounds - Round 9 - Ballina vs Casino Bulls.
4 grades got a game each this round but Presidents Cup got to make the trip up to Tenterfield for a night away. Check the reports on the matches below. There is no rugby on this week due to Country Rugby championships being held at Tamworth. Take the time to enjoy the long weekend, rest up for the next stage of this years competition.
Go the Seahorses.
First Grade Report - Casino match - Andrew Fraser
One word best describes Saturday’s fixture against Casino - tough.
It was a hard fought contest and both teams played tough and direct football.
Casino are far from the side they have been over the last few years. They have 3 new Fijian players - one of which trained / played with the Bulls franchise in South Africa.
The match began with Ballina pressing Casino in defence. The line speed and ensuing tackle from Tupou Lolohea saw Terry Ferguson scoop up the crumbs and score with 2 minutes gone.
Casino kicked off and some smart play From Ballina off a lineout, saw some multi phase rugby from the Seahorses. A strong carry From Stan Lolohea into the Casino 22m saw a few more phases and Nick Watson scoot over for a meat pie. A missed conversion meant no sauce. Ballina up 12-0.
Casino rallied and used their imports to full effect. Constant pressure in the Ballina 22m, saw the men from the west cross over. Ballina led 12-7.
The game see-sawed for the next 15 minutes till a Ballina 40 metres out saw smooth hands and Luke Simpson scored in the far corner. Ballina stretched the lead to 17-7.
Again Casino bounced back with a return score and made it 17-12.
With the oranges break nearing, defensive pressure on a Casino scrum - saw Grant Knight intercept a stray pass. He sprinted for 40 meters before off loading to Tupou Lolohea.
He outran the defence and scored near the posts. Ferguson concerted and made it 24-12 at half time.
As the storm clouds opened - the second half was a dire affair. Wet weather rugby ensued and Casino took on Ballina up front.
Casino scored midway in the second half and at 24-19 to Ballina - the 1st grade side had to scrap and work for every metre. Poor Weather not assisting the valiant efforts of the playing group.
With 5 minutes left - Casino made an attacking raid from deep in their own half. 5 solid phases of defence from the Seahorses, led to a Casino chip kick - that was fielded by Simpson and he ran 50 metres back into the Casino 22 metre area. Ballina attacked wave after wave. Knight again fed Tupou who crashed over for his second. The score 29-19. Another missed conversion meant Ballina had to close the game out with some precision.
Ball security and strong defence were the key for the last few minutes. Casino tried valiantly but a dominant display by the set piece alleviated any chance of a fight back.
At full time, Ballina left the field quite bruised but the bonus point win in trying conditions was a great result for the Seahorses.
The young forward pack is starting to gel and with men of Alstonville here in 2 weeks. It is full steam ahead for big encounter at home at Quays Reserve.
Special mention to the great wins of 2nd grade and the Women’s Team - who continues to impress each week.
Points were 1st grade game was as follows :
3. Luke Kliese
2. Grant Knight
1. Marcus Lees
Second Grade Report - Casino match - Chris Long
Last Saturday saw Ballina 2nd grade battle Casino Bulls at Quays Reserve.
Trouble struck the team just before kick off when it was discovered that 2nd grades jumpers had decided they would like a weekend in Tenterfield and had jumped on the bus and headed west. Luckily Matty Davidson combined three old sets and got the boys on the park looking like some sort of Ballina barbarians’ team.
As expected, Casino played a hard-physical game of rugby. Special mention must go to the whole team for what was a massive defensive effort for the whole 70 minutes. Time upon time Casino pressured the Ballina line but the defence stood strong. From this strong defensive effort Ballina seemed to gain more confidence as the game went on. In the end Ballina was victorious 56-0.
Stand out mentions go to the following:
Joe Janson ( 3 points) who was an absolute pest at number nine for the whole game, Joe got special attention from several of the Casino forwards.
Kye Cribb (2 points) keeps getting better and better at number 8 every game he plays and picked up a lovely try through some great support play.
Jack Ingham (1 point) Jack came off the bench and was strong in defence and showed some real speed breaking the Casino line a number of times.
Zane Barrett (1 point) Zane stole 90 % of casino line out ball & had several strong runs through the middle.
Mr consistent Nick Brydon slotted 8 from 8 with the boot.
Daniel Cotes crossed the line for a hat trick.
With this week off Ballina 2nds are resting up with a cold beverage in hand. All focus next week turns to the game against Wollongbar next Saturday at home.
Make sure you all make it to seahorse stadium next weekend for what should be 3 cracking games of rugby.
Presidents Cup Report - Tenterfield match - Jamie Coote
The BRC PRESIDENT'S CUP team travelled to Tenterfield to take on the Bumblebees last weekend.
Travelling west on the bus to the cold country, the team was shocked to witness the drought conditions that the area is experiencing. The field was 'quite firm' to say the least!
The first 10 mins of the game was played with high intensity with many changes of possession. Jamie Coote scored 1st try for the Seahorses after a dash down the blind side and the lead changed a few times and Harrison Murphy scored a gritty try after some solid work from the forward pack. Ballina leading at half time 12-7.
The 2nd half was all the BRC forwards, who dominated the set piece, rucks and rolling mauls to set up tries for Danny Lickiss after another rolling mail and James Swain finished off a great wingers try to set up the win. Final score 2-12.
After playing on a field that looked like the BRC car park and braving the frigid weather, the team headed to a local watering hole to tie the horses up with a bucket of water and set up camp for the night. Good times 🏉
3 points Gary Murphy
2 points Danny Lickiss
1 point Matt Lloyd
Player's player : Josh Piercy/Danny Lickiss
Womens 7’s - Casino match - Paul Giltrap
A great way to get back in the winners circle with a dominant display against Casino. Very few real negatives to dwell on other than a sloppy 3rd quarter...our attitude and focus was good, defense was tight only letting in the 1 try, and a fair bit of continuity in attack and pleasing to see some of the moves we practice in training come off. Every player contributed well but special mention to Sharon who bagged a hat-trick and gave up her 4th to a penalty try, when she nearly lost her head. A great effort girls. Enjoy the break but a big game against Wollongbar at home next up.
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