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Depleted Buccaneers salvage some pride

BIG HIT: Yamba Buccaneers player Hugh Towner shows the strength and determination needed to break the Lismore City defence last
BIG HIT: Yamba Buccaneers player Hugh Towner shows the strength and determination needed to break the Lismore City defence last

By TIM HOWARD

A STIRRING second-half performance from an injury-riddled Yamba Buccaneers first grade rugby union team has the team convinced its first win is not too far away.

Down 28-nil at half-time against Far North Coast premiers Lismore and with four key backline players ? including halfback Ben Ralston ? injured, the Buccaneers scored 17 points to 10 in a courageous turnaround.

Coach Richard Almond said not much went right for his team at the weekend.

It began when Clarence Valley Council closed home ground Yamba Oval, forcing officials to move the game to the Angourie Sports Field.

Then, playing into a howling wind, Ralston, centres Tristan Allard and Mal Lee and winger Hugh Towner were all injured.

"In the second half we brought on replacements from third grade, played a pretty simple game plan and with the wind behind us, outscored them 17-10," Almond said.

"The way we played, if we'd had a better first half, without the injuries, we could have been right in it. It was just too much to catch up."

Almond said a general bye for the NSW Country match at Lismore and a competition bye will allow his injured players time to recover.

"What we're looking at is getting our full team together on a warm day on a dry track at Yamba Oval," Almond said.

"A win is not far off."