From the rucks

A WELL-earned rest for the Redmen last weekend with a club bye, although it was not all rest as a good crowd turned up again to the annual Ruck??n??Ball. The figures are still being tallied, but hopefully it will result in another healthy donation to the hospital, as has happened in previous years. ?o???The Redmen Colts also had a busier weekend than expected, a late rejigging of the Under-19 draw requiring them to travel to Evans Head at the last minute. They did exceptionally well, not only to throw together a side at late notice, but ran out convincing winners despite a deceptively close 17-14 score line ?V the closeness probably the result of some laxness late in the game after they had it well in hand. This side is coming along well and are well entrenched as real premiership contenders in a very competitive competition, reflected in their position at the top of the table. It was a good all-round performance, but flankers turned centres for the day, Cam Wicks and Simon Hampshire really stood out, while I was impressed with the effort of Joe Lancaster in only his second game of rugby. My tip is to get to the home games early to watch these fellas as they are really developing into a fine side that will go all the way. ?o???ON the international scene, the World Cup betting has really been turned on its head by the form of the South African sides in the Super 14s, with the Bulls and Sharks meeting in the final. They??ve never performed all that well in this competition, but have shown that if they can translate this sort of form into their Test side, something that the Boks have always struggled to do, then they are a big chance in the World Cup. ?? They??ve always had size and power, which they now seem to have in abundance, but speed and flair out wide, and importantly, a willingness to use it is a combination that South Africa have never had. It??s all in their mindset but the signs are there that perhaps they are getting this right. If so watch out. ?o???WHAT seemed like a New Zealand foregone conclusion maybe is not quite so clear cut. Will the Blacks again be destined to be the best side in the world between World cups? The Wallaby campaign descends further into farce with the announcement of a 59 man train on squad ?V that??s basically four teams worth of players, which gets trimmed to 40 or so a week later without anyone having been on the training paddock. That??s probably because they couldn??t hire a plane big enough to get the whole squad together in the same place. Surely after a four-month Super 14 season the selectors have a fair idea of their top 25 or so, and if not, what have they been watching all this time? With all the ex-pat Kiwis and Boks in the community these days, it??s just another embarrassment that we suffering Wallaby supporters have to put up with at the office water cooler each morning. ?o???ON to this week??s local stuff. The Mighty River Redmen have a stern test with all four grades travelling to Wollongbar, who are fresh off a win over Lismore last week. The Pioneers are in a log jam on the competition table with three other sides in equal fourth knowing they must win, but I think that a freshened Redmen will be too strong. University are difficult to pick, but should find Casino a little too strong at Maurie Ryan Oval, while Lennox will struggle at Ballina. Tweed host Yamba in probably the toughest game to pick, the Baa Baas proving to be a real thorn in Ballina??s side last week with a tough, uncompromising pack. Yamba performed well at Casino but will find the Tweed trip hard, the Buccaneers to win, just.

A WELL-earned rest for the Redmen last weekend with a club bye, although it was not all rest as a good crowd turned up again to the annual Ruck??n??Ball. The figures are still being tallied, but hopefully it will result in another healthy donation to the hospital, as has happened in previous years. ?o???The Redmen Colts also had a busier weekend than expected, a late rejigging of the Under-19 draw requiring them to travel to Evans Head at the last minute. They did exceptionally well, not only to throw together a side at late notice, but ran out convincing winners despite a deceptively close 17-14 score line ?V the closeness probably the result of some laxness late in the game after they had it well in hand. This side is coming along well and are well entrenched as real premiership contenders in a very competitive competition, reflected in their position at the top of the table. It was a good all-round performance, but flankers turned centres for the day, Cam Wicks and Simon Hampshire really stood out, while I was impressed with the effort of Joe Lancaster in only his second game of rugby. My tip is to get to the home games early to watch these fellas as they are really developing into a fine side that will go all the way. ?o???ON the international scene, the World Cup betting has really been turned on its head by the form of the South African sides in the Super 14s, with the Bulls and Sharks meeting in the final. They??ve never performed all that well in this competition, but have shown that if they can translate this sort of form into their Test side, something that the Boks have always struggled to do, then they are a big chance in the World Cup. ?? They??ve always had size and power, which they now seem to have in abundance, but speed and flair out wide, and importantly, a willingness to use it is a combination that South Africa have never had. It??s all in their mindset but the signs are there that perhaps they are getting this right. If so watch out. ?o???WHAT seemed like a New Zealand foregone conclusion maybe is not quite so clear cut. Will the Blacks again be destined to be the best side in the world between World cups? The Wallaby campaign descends further into farce with the announcement of a 59 man train on squad ?V that??s basically four teams worth of players, which gets trimmed to 40 or so a week later without anyone having been on the training paddock. That??s probably because they couldn??t hire a plane big enough to get the whole squad together in the same place. Surely after a four-month Super 14 season the selectors have a fair idea of their top 25 or so, and if not, what have they been watching all this time? With all the ex-pat Kiwis and Boks in the community these days, it??s just another embarrassment that we suffering Wallaby supporters have to put up with at the office water cooler each morning. ?o???ON to this week??s local stuff. The Mighty River Redmen have a stern test with all four grades travelling to Wollongbar, who are fresh off a win over Lismore last week. The Pioneers are in a log jam on the competition table with three other sides in equal fourth knowing they must win, but I think that a freshened Redmen will be too strong. University are difficult to pick, but should find Casino a little too strong at Maurie Ryan Oval, while Lennox will struggle at Ballina. Tweed host Yamba in probably the toughest game to pick, the Baa Baas proving to be a real thorn in Ballina??s side last week with a tough, uncompromising pack. Yamba performed well at Casino but will find the Tweed trip hard, the Buccaneers to win, just.



Daily Catch-Up: January 18, 2021

Premium Content Daily Catch-Up: January 18, 2021

Today's local weather, funeral, and other notices in one place.

MONDAY ROUND UP: Latest sport results and scores

Premium Content MONDAY ROUND UP: Latest sport results and scores

Catch up with the latest sporting news from Clarence Valley sporting clubs.

Changed traffic conditions for this week

Premium Content Changed traffic conditions for this week

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