Bucs? dream start
By TONY WHITE
IT was a dream start to the Far North Coast Rugby season by the Pacific Hotel Yamba Buccaneers, who pillaged a 29-nil thumping of Lismore at their home ground, Yamba Oval on Saturday.
Playing class rugby against last season's final-four club Lismore, the 'Bucs' gave notice last year's fledgling first grade club will be a force to be reckoned with this time around.
After leading 19-nil at half-time, the Buccaneers went right on with the job in the second stanza scoring another two tries and keeping their opponents scoreless.
"Keeping them (Lismore) scoreless was one of the best things to come out of the game," new Buccaneers coach Andrew Bennett said.
"Our commitment was terrific and our midfield defence outstanding.
"We shut them down all day."
Bennett said classy fly half Anthony Begg, who has returned to the club this year, was particularly devastating in attack and defence.
"Anthony is one of those players who has got time and space and that's something you can't coach," Bennett said.
"And he creates that for other people.
"Adrian Miller (fullback) is running off Anthony and he can read his football. That's a huge bonus."
Lanky Miller, a deceptive runner, appreciated Begg's presence scoring two fine tries and looks headed for a big season, his second with the club.
Bennett said Begg led the defensive effort in the mid field, a point Lismore attacked numerous times.
"The midfield defence led by Anthony and centres Lee Everett and Scott Moore and the flankers didn't allow Lismore space," he said. "Up front our scrum put them under pressure, our clean out rate and phase play was good.
"The quality of ball did drop off in the second half as our fitness flagged and the second half tries came from broken, rather than set play."
If there was a negative it was the line out.
"Not much clean ball. The line out needs some work," Bennett said.
In FNC best and fairest points Miller scored 3, Sean Riley 2 and Everett 1.
"Our loose head prop Paul Thompson got the Buccaneers' best and Ken Henbrow also had a very strong game," Bennett said.
"Last year several of the players doubted they were genuine first graders. This year there is a change in attitude and demeanour.
"There out there to win, not just go around."