Rebels? second-half surge falls short
By CHRIS GILMORE
MULLUMBIMBY hung on for a close 20-16 win over South Grafton at Les Donnelly Field, Mullumbimby, on Saturday night.
The Giants led 20-6 at half-time but were unable to score again after the break.
"It was a strong defensive game," Mullum coach Dave Latta said.
Latta said centre Paul Mitchell and lock Mitch Morris had strong games.
It was the second win on the trot for the defending premiers after beating high-flying Ballina last week.
IT WAS a happy return to Oakes Oval yesterday for former Marist Brother Andrew King as his Cudgen side thrashed the Bretheren 50-16 in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
King, the brother of Melbourne and NSW winger Matt, is obviously still well remembered by Brothers' fans, as one member of the crowd starting yelling 'Let Kingy score' whenever he came near the ball.
And while King himself did not get over the line, Cudgen still managed to cross for 10 tries, including a hat-trick to winger Jackson Hardy.
Marist Brothers coach Craig Hodges was bitterly disappointed after the match with his team's performance.
"I am just really, really disappointed, we have to ask ourselves some really big questions," he said.
"I don't know whether it's guys feeling safe, but we played with a real lack of passion."
The opening exchanges of the game were very tight, with strong defence a feature of both side's games, and Cudgen led just 8-4 minutes before half-time.
But two quick converted tries before the break shifted momentum heavily in the visitor's favour.
"To be 8-4 after 35 minutes and then go into the break 20-4 down is not good enough," Hodges said.
"We put in four good tackles out of six, nine good minutes out of 10, but we're not going on with it."
CUDGEN? 50 (J Hardy 3, B McCarthy 2, J Pritchard 2, C Thurston, N Mobbs, T Falls; C Thurston 5 goals) d MARIST BROTHERS 16 (A Gooley, G Smallwood, L Scott tries; A Gooley 2 goals).
Reserve Grade: MARIST BROTHERS 30 (J Schiemer, M Brown, B Buckley, C Pearce, N Evans, A Colby tries; J Schiemer 3 goals) d CUDGEN 0.
Under-18s: MARIST BROTHERS 26 (B Wright 2, A Laviavaz, J Roberts tries; T Clark 3, Harry Witt goals) d CUDGEN 12 (B Lee, D Jordan tries; S Johnson 2 goals).