Three-peat for Clarence rugby
By ADRIAN MILLER firstname.lastname@example.org
THE Yamba Buccaneers Rugby Club might not have only just returned to Far North Coast first grade rugby, but off the field the club has been going from strength to strength.
Not only did the club field record numbers of junior players this year, but club treasurer Andy Bennett was awarded the Far North Coast (FNC) Rugby Union President's Award for services to rugby at last weekend's grand final day in Lismore.
This was the second time in three years a representative from the Buccaneers has taken out the award after, former club president Peter Campbell was awarded the honour in 2003. Bennett is one man who deserves the honour.
He began his affiliation with FNC over 30 years ago with Colleges Rugby Club, now known as Southern Cross University, where he not only played and coached but represented them at zone committee meetings.
Bennett became a referee after his playing days and has coached many junior and senior teams throughout the FNC zone as well as being a club official at three clubs.
He was instrumental in starting Kyogle Rugby Club in the mid-80s and coached there before coming to Yamba in 2000 where he was named club person of the year last season.
Bennett said he was extremely humbled and honoured to receive the award.
He said it was also a great result for Valley clubs considering the last three winners came from Yamba and Grafton.
"It is an excellent result for the Buccaneers, to win it twice in the last three years, and even better for the Clarence," he said.
Buccaneers club president Daryl Rock said it was fantastic recognition for Bennett's efforts.
"I just think it's great recog- nition for the tireless efforts he has given to rugby and the numerous long hours he and is family have put in for the code," he said.