Desperate Buccaneers hold on for much-needed away win
RUGBY UNION: Yamba Buccaneers have set themselves up well ahead of the toughest clash of the Far North Coast Rugby President's Cup season with a dominant defensive display against Kyogle Cockies.
Despite only having two players on the reserves bench, the Buccaneers dug deep in their 26-24 win away from home at Don Gulley Reserve.
The win has the club riding a wave of momentum this week as they set up for the first Clash of the Heads local derby game against Iluka Cossacks at Kane Douglas rugby field.
But it was far from a sure thing for the Yamba side, with coach Scott Moore admitting the side had to reach deep down into the reserve fuel tank with minutes left on the clock.
"It was very touch and go towards the end there, and I think Kyogle botched a chance at stealing the game from us,” he said. "We were ahead by two points with five minutes to go and they got a penalty right in front, five metres out, but opted for the quick tap.
"It was probably a bit of poor game management on their part, but to our credit the boys had to really dig deep to make sure we kept them out.
"Our defence was awesome all game, most of their tries came from broken field play, which was a real testament to the effort of our big boys in the middle of the field.”
It was a good homecoming for Buccaneers second-rower Ewen McQueen who made the switch from the Cockies at the start of the year.
"It was Ewen's first time going back to his former club and he did not disappoint,” Moore said. "He came up against his brother and his uncle, and I think he enjoyed getting a few shots in there on them.
"He really lifted for the occasion and because of that he got our Players' Player award for the game.”
Moore also praised captain Jason James who managed to steer the side around the park with skill, while also diving across for two tries of his own.
It was a different story this weekend for the Cossacks, who made the toughest road trip of the season over the Gibraltar Range to play the Tenterfield Bumblebees.
With low numbers for the trip, the Cossacks conceded 10 tries in the 78-14 shellacking, but Moore said it would have no reflection on next weekend's derby clash.
"It is not good to see our rugby brothers get a hiding like that,” he said. "But I don't think we should take anything from that result.
"They will deadset bring the kitchen sink across the rivermouth on Saturday.”