Bell ringing in ears of disappointing Ghosts
By Steve Spinks
ROY Bell scored two tries in his first game for Casino as the Cougars smashed the Grafton Ghosts 50-12 at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, yesterday.
Bell, a former South Sydney Rabbitoh, missed the opening match of the season with his old club, but quickly found his range in bagging a double on the end of a dangerous Casino backline.
Todd Walker and Luke Falls also scored two tries.
The score could have been much worse for the Ghosts, but the normal reliable boot of Garry Roberts only landed three goals from 11 attempts.
"We scored off the first set of six," Cougars coach Cavill Heugh.
"That really got the boys rolling and we were 28-0 up at half-time."
Heugh said hooker Bede McPherson was his side's best player, while second-rower Chad Pearce and five-eighth Roberts also excelled.
"Ghosts had their opportunities, but they didn't make the most of it," Heugh said. "But our defence was good again."
CASINO 50 (Roy Bell 2, Todd Walker 2, Luke Falls 2, Garry Roberts, Matty Roberts, Kirk Hancock, Dave Ellis, Adrian Robson tries; Garry Roberts 3 goals) d GRAFTON GHOSTS 12 (Shane Denshire 2 tries; Tyson Donohoe 2 goals).
Reserve grade: GRAFTON GHOSTS 28 (Will Hickey, Travis Paley 2, Jamie Lafferty, Jeremy Fahey tries; Joel Pearce, Andy Bell 3 goals) d CASINO 14 (Tom McGrady, Dean Watson, Ben Birney tries; Ben Birney goal).
Under-18s: GRAFTON GHOSTS 42 (Carson Galloway, Khan Williams, Ben McLennan 2, Abe Doherty, Cohen Collins, Reece Walters, Rod McRae, Cameron Wicks tries; Reece Walters, Scott Bennett 2 goals) d CASINO 16 (Barry Smith, Chris Thomas, Craig Keep tries; Paul Robinson 2 goals).
YOU'D have to go back a lot of years to find when Kyogle last won their first two games in a Group One or Northern Rivers Regional rugby league competition.
But led by slippery halfback Michael Walker and a vibrant forward pack, the Turkeys made it two-from-two for the 2006 season with a comfortable 36-18 victory over Ballina at New Park, Kyogle, yesterday.
It wasn't a brilliant victory by any means, but Kyogle coach Wayne Lollback seems to have brought the Midas touch he had when winning two premierships with the Turkeys Under-18s.
"We have a lot to work on," Lollback said.
"But you'd have to go back 10 or 12 years to find out when we last won the first two games."
With twin premierships with the Kyogle Under-18s in 2004 and 2005, it's no surprise that many of Kyogle's brightest moments yesterday came from Lollback's former junior charges.
Halfback Michael Walker, who scored two tries, probably had the greatest mark on the match with his great kicking game.
Not only did he earn his side valuable metres, but he also picked up a 40-20 and grounded the Seagulls behind their own goal-line on one occasion.
While Walker controlled proceedings, it was the formidable Kyogle forwards that laid the platform against an uncharateristically subdued and error-ridden Seagulls pack.
Props Dave Mulcahy and Steve Lamond, interchange players Phil Charles and Ryan Daley, and backrowers Tom Ivanusa, Scott Lavelle and Don Walker all had good passages. Hooker Simon Pederson also played with distinction.
Kyogle led 18-12 at half-time after a entertaining first half but then they ran away with the contest in the second-half as the Seagulls continually coughed up possession in the face of some well organised Turkeys defence.
Prop Dylan Montgomery, fullback Brenton Cochrane, hooker Matt Temby, five-eighth Willie Hammond and interchange forward Tyler Iverson all tried hard for Ballina, but in the end the Seagulls turned in a disjointed effort.
KYOGLE 36 (Michael Walker 2, Simon Pederson, Don Walker, Ryan Daley, Phil Charles tries; Simon Pederson 4, Michael Walker, Phil Charles goals) d BALLINA 18 (Willo James 2, Mick Foster tries; Jamie Quinn 3). Half-time: Kyogle 18-12. Referee: Dion Aldridge.
Reserve grade: BALLINA 24 (Bill Lee, Steve Kelly, Paul Taggett, Mick Roberts tries; Des Anderson 4 goals) d KYOGLE 18 (Steve Close, Phil Charles, Jason Fuller tries; Steve Close 2, Sam Williams goals).
Under-18s: KYOGLE 14 (Matt O'Reilly 3 tries; Les Fuller goal) drew with BALLINA 14 (Jamal Roberts, Henry Boyd, Luke Bartlett tries; Andrew Battese goal).
Young Coote stars
THE last time Jamie Coote played in the centres for Mullumbimby they won the Group One rugby league premiership in 2004.
So it was no surprise to see the former NSW Country rugby union centre figure prominently as Mullumbimby tore apart Byron Bay 70-0 at Les Donnelly Field, Mullumbimby, on Saturday night.
Coote, who played on the Gold Coast last season, scored three tries as the Giants ran in 13 tries-to-nil.
Another former premiership star, Chase Nelson, excelled in his first game at halfback, while second-rower Craig Abbott also played well.
Byron coach Arthur Sauverain knows his side has a lot of work to do before becoming competitive but he was happy enough with some aspects of the Red Devils' performance.
In particular, the individual efforts of Lee Funnell, Michael Chapman and Lee Woods.
MULLUMBIMBY 70 (Jamie Coote 3, Joel Christie 2, Corey Poole, Murray Brown, Scott Hogan, Corey Windle, Paul Latta, Craig Abbott, Rick Oxley, Robbie Wark tries; Paul Latta 6, Scott Hogan 3 goals) d BYRON BAY 0.
Reserve grade: MULLUMBIMBY 32 (Dan Woods 2, Glen Godbee, Damon Scott, Brett Archibald, Luke Hampson tries; Glen Godbee 4 goals) d BYRON BAY 0.
Under-18s: MULLUMBIMBY 46 (Kurt Mulcahy 3, Cody Nelson 2, Troy McAuther, Dwayne Mosily, Dan Malivanek tries; Kurt Mulcahy 5, Cody Nelson 2 goals) d BYRON BAY 22 (Chad Grant, Sam Barnes, Sean Petrou, Ben Donohue tries; Sam Barnes 2, Mitch Loame goals).
Brethen fullback notches 18 against South Tweed
MARIST Brothers fullback Adrian Gooley scored 18 points as the Brethren comfortably accounted for South Tweed 38-20 at Dave Burn Field, South Tweed, yesterday.
Gooley scored two tries and kicked five goals as the Rams rolled to their second win of the season.
The Koalas were hampered by injuries and finished the match without a reserve, but despite a courageous effort the Brethrens' dominance was never in doubt after they built up a 24-0 half-time lead.
"Again we didn't play very well but we came away with the win," Brothers coach Craig Hodges said.
"It's nice to be winning but we didn't really get out of second gear.
"We did just enough to win."
Gooley and second-rower and captain Luke Scott were the standouts for the Brethren, while make-shift prop Kevin Walker also played strongly.
MARIST BROTHERS 38 (Adrian Gooley 2, Dylan Coleman 2, Kevin Walker, Nicko Valawarrwa, Luke Campbell tries; Adrian Gooley 5 goals) d SOUTH TWEED 20 (Gene Slockee 2, Ricky Moana, Thomas Phillips tries; Ricky Moana 2 goals).
Reserve grade: MARIST BROTHERS 42 d SOUTH TWEED 18.
Under-18s: SOUTH TWEED 22 d MARIST BROTHERS 16.