Buccs run Bulls ragged
By Tony White
FACING a 14-nil deficit and Casino clearly dominant, the Pacific Hotel Yamba Buccaneers reached a crossroad.
The fifth round Far North Coast Rugby Union clash at Yamba Oval was slipping away due to pressure being exerted by Casino and a large territorial advantage.
After 10 minutes former league star Wes Torrens sliced through to score with the try converted and mid way through the first half halfback Luke Serone increased the margin with a smart try which was converted by Wayne Corrigan to give Casino a 14-nil lead.
Last season, the early onslaught would have been enough for the Buccaneers to crumble but the resolve and self belief in Andrew Bennett's team this season has turned full circle.
Desperate for points and with driving forward play to key stone, Yamba were twice disallowed tries to Sean Riley and Adrian Miller. Heart breaking.
However, Yamba continued to exert their own pressure and just on the stroke of half time Riley barged over to go to the break down 14-5.
Bennett's half time pep talk obviously worked wonders. Yamba came alive in the second half with good driving mauls and second and third phase play.
Miller eventually scored after a good kick and chase and with Liam Jones conversion, Yamba had fought back to 14-12 and the match in the balance.
Livewire Jones and Miller were again prominent, the winger supporting Miller on a kick and chase regathering to cross and take Yamba to a 17-14 lead.
Then after a masterful backline movement, featuring the Buccaneers free flowing expansive game at its best, Jones crossed for his second five pointer.
Yamba had taken the match by the throat and ran out winners 22-14.
"It was a very tough game," Bennett said. "Full credit to the boys for fighting back after Casino's very good start.
"It was a pleasing win."
Creative centre Lee Everett was awarded the Players' Player and second-rower Sean Riley, a tower of strength in the pack, getting the best and fairest from Kane Aeschlimann and Everett.
The Zone points were awarded to Miller 3, Riley 2 and Casino's Danial Schnider 1.
Yamba tackle Tweed next weekend away.