Pirate raiders too strong for Bucs

THE Pacific Hotel Yamba Buccaneers had a solid start to the rugby season with a narrow loss to Bond University Pirates in a trial game on Saturday.

The Buccaneers showed the skills to match it with much taller and stronger opponents, narrowly going down 22-17.

With the Pirates bringing nearly 50 players for the trial, and Yamba missing key players due to prior commitments, the Bucs were always going to find it tough, but their fitness held strong throughout the match.

Bond opened the stronger of the two teams, and used a strong breeze to keep Yamba under pressure nearly the entire opening quarter.

Yamba had trouble controlling the ball early, with the lineouts disrupted by the wind and some poor kicking, were continually under pressure.

But they responded well, finishing the first half strongly after a charge down from captain Luke Turner lead to a Paul Hope try.

The third quarter saw a step up from the Yamba team.

The forwards attacked the rucks and mauls harder, the lineouts started to find their mark, and there was much more urgency both in attack and defence.

With the increased urgency, the Bond side started to look vulnerable, and after a Mitch McLennan break up the middle, Yamba went close to scoring when James O'Hara was bundled over the side line.

This provided a boost to the Bucs, who went close again when Mal Lee scorched down the right hand touch line, only to be dragged done by some good scrambling defence.

The break led to a try soon after when a brilliant ball from Rob Imeson split the defence wide open.

With the wind at their backs the Buccaneers started to exert pressure on the Pirates, but missed too many first up tackles to convert the pressure into points.

The fourth quarter saw the Bucs close the gap again when Pete Davis dived over the line to score the Bucs third try.

But the Pirates managed to hold out, finishing the game with a well crafted try.

For anyone interested, the Buccaneers train Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 pm at Yamba Oval.

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