Around the Grounds - Round 15 - Ballina Seahorses vs Casuarina.
With Longy & Cootie on their way to Portugal, the match reports will look a little different this week. The return match against Casuarina was always going to be sticky affair, but the games turned out be solid hit outs with Ballina prevailing in both 1sts and 2nds. The Dark Horses were beaten marginally by Yamba but there was great determination shown by this bunch of legends and club stalwarts. It really is a shame that all grades can’t play more games together. The Women’s 7’s team did not have a game in Round 15. A break to refresh and finish the season with wet sails. Bangalow, Byron Bay and the club bus trip to Grafton is going to round out the season before finals time.
Go the Seahorses.
First Grade Report - Ballina vs Casuarina - Chris Hickey.
Saturday 27th July saw Ballina host Casuarina who were sitting in 2nd place above Ballina (3rd) on the Competition table. It was vital that Ballina secure the points to have a chance of competing in the Major Semi Final next month.
Casuarina ran with a strong breeze behind them and on the back of a high penalty count from Ballina were able to camp on or in the 22. With plenty of the ball and this good field position Casuarina were first to score and take a 7-0 lead.
Ballina were able to get into the opposition 22 and on the back of a quick tap kick, Nick Watson crossed the line. Casuarina were back in good field position again and sustained pressure saw them go up 14-7. Ballina hit back when Stan Lolohea strolled over off the back of a strong scrum. The teams went to half time locked at 14-14.
With the breeze at their back and a reduced penalty count Ballina were able to apply pressure to Casuarina with Terry Ferguson scoring in the corner along with a good conversion from Tom Watson (21-14). Ballina continued to work hard in defence and to control possession at the breakdown.
This pressure resulted in a turnover and quick hands from Beau Clark and Terry Ferguson saw captain Brad Brown backing up to score and seal the game for Ballina. (26-14)
Players /player: Brad Brown
3 points- Brad Brown,
2 points – Nick Watson, 1 point – Luke Kleise & Jake O’Connor.
Second Grade Report - Casuarina - Chris Hickey
2nd Grade also enjoyed a win with a 25-15 score line in a game where Ballina jumped out to a 25-0 lead and managed to hold out a fast finishing Casuarina. ( Short and precise.)
Presidents Cup Report - Ballina vs yamba match -
Al Barrett has had the flu all week and so no report is available.
Junior Seahorse Reports
Under 13’s vs Casino - Coach Paul Davies.
The U13’s travelled to Casino for their next game and the thoughts off a freezing night against the usually big Casino boppers rang loud in everyone’s head. Well, the big boppers were there to greet us but the evening was a balmy 18 deg (actually warmer than Ballina when we left it).
From the kickoff Taz Milner showed us the mood he was in with a 50m slicing run through the Casino defence, and from that point 95% of the game was played in the Casino half of the paddock. Some great forward runs from Elijah Thaiday backed up by Bailey Miller and Zac Busteed set the tone for the half. On the back of the forwards effort the backs were able to make great ground and only some great Casino defence stopped many scoring opportunities. Our first try scored by Zac Busteed was on the back of some very Casino like play (pick and drive) ending with Zac going over under the posts, and the ever reliable Kobi Courtney slotting the extras. The try seemed to kick Casino into gear and they worked very hard to keep possession and grind their way out of their half. Some amazing counter rucking from Alexa Busteed won us the ball at the break down, and some awesome defence from the backs especially Lucy Bowen made sure the Casino progress was halted. On the back of this second rower Blake McQueen chimed in on a back-line flurry to score out wide, again converted by Kobi. Not long after the second try Elijah Thaiday, screaming for the ball went over after a pin point wide pass from our ever energetic halfback Sam Watson. The half time whistle went and we were glad for a rest.
The break did Casino well and they came back on with renewed vigour and intent, the big boys were charging the ball up non stop and they were met by great defence led by Finn Jonsson, chopping there legs away with help from Finns brother Zayne and Stuart Capeen, who had a non stop effort all night.
Casino made their way up field on the back of their pick and drive and scored just wide of the posts, failing to add the extras. Taz continued to slice them up the middle backed up well by Kobi, Dan Freeman, Bennett Charleton and the rest of the backs.
Then came the try of the night. A barnstorming run up the middle by Alexa, dragging defenders along with her was followed after the ensuing ruck by Lucy Bowen charging the ball towards the line, Lucy in turn passed off to Blake who went in for his second try of the night.
A special mention for our two wingers on the night, Jai Armstrong who continued to make meters every time he touched the ball with great speed and footwork and James Muldoon who is having his first season of rugby after only playing touch footy before, his involvements in tonight’s game were outstanding, both running the ball and technically doing everything right at the breakdown.
Final score 33-5 win
Points.. 3. Lucy Bowen….Casino would have had nightmares after that effort
2. Shared between Taz and Elijah… Great all night.
1. Shared between James Muldoon and Alexa Busteed… Never stopped and great at the breakdowns.
Once again big thank you to the ref for the night Al Thomas, who was great talking to all the players during the game.
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