The Iluka Cossacks went down 21-15 in their Far North Coast Rugby Union minor semi-final against Richmond Ranges at Byron Bay on Saturday.
The Iluka Cossacks went down 21-15 in their Far North Coast Rugby Union minor semi-final against Richmond Ranges at Byron Bay on Saturday.

ILUKA PRIDE: Cossacks go down swinging in semi-final

AFTER a dream run in last year’s Presidents Cup finals, Iluka Cossacks came close to booking a return but fell short in a 21-15 minor semi-final loss on Saturday.

Playing the Richmond Range for a second time in two weeks, Iluka had the winning formula with a 17-14 win just seven days prior, but their opponents came out on top in Byron Bay.

Trailing 14-3 at half time, coach Tony Wiseman had to rally his troops for a big second stanza and the comeback was on as Iluka went 15-14 half way through.

But with just 16 players at his disposal, Richmond Range took hold of the game and came home strong to progress to the preliminary final against Evans River Killer Whales, who lost 36-14 to Byron Bay in the major semi-final.

Iluka Cossacks Presidents Cup side in action during the 2020 Far North Coast Rugby Union season. Photo: Peter Johnson
Iluka Cossacks Presidents Cup side in action during the 2020 Far North Coast Rugby Union season. Photo: Peter Johnson

While the Cossacks had hoped to make up for a loss in last year’s decider, coach Wiseman was pleased with his side’s performance after assembling a ‘rag tag’ team.

“Great game today by the Cossacks, with a huge injury toll we could only manage 16 players. We may have lost 21-15 but every single player put in huge effort to be proud of,” Wiseman said.

“We would like to thank all our sponsors, supporters and volunteers for another successful year. Go the mighty Cossacks.”

Drawing on players from the Yamba Buccaneers, Lower Clarence Magpies and South Grafton Rebels, Iluka had difficulty jelling as a unit early on but some huge results were a sign of a very talented group of players.

As clubs around the Clarence Valley look to return to normal in 2021, we may never see this same group of players playing on the same team again and what a fantastic effort to see each and every one of them playing for the love of the game.

Far North Coast Rugby Union Major Semi-Final Results

First Grade

Lennox Head 42 (Penalty Try, Zac Beecher 2, Berrick Barnes, Tas De Groot, Brad Lees tries, Berrick Barnes 5 conversions) d Ballina 15 (Jakob O’Connor, Nick Watson tries, Tom Watson conversion, Sam Giltrap penalty goal)

Half Time: Lennox 14 - Ballina 3

Second Grade

Ballina 19 (Harley Armstrong, Nat Hooper tries, Nick Brydon 3 penalty Goals) d Wollongbar 17 (Angus Levot, Vincent Chee tries, Jaiden McDonald 2 conversions, penalty goal)

Half Time: Wollongbar 14 - Ballina 8

Under 18s

Casuarina 21 (Zac Hanna, Willis Coetzee, Tuveia Leon tries, Harry Hall 3 conversions) d Lismore 7 (Nick Forzan try, Braeden Williams conversion)

Half Time: Casuarina 7 - Lismore 0

Women’s

Ballina 22 (Jadha King 3, Kerene Bienke tries, Jadha King conversion) d Evans River 10 (Georgia Slade, Daisy Gordon tries)

Half Time: Ballina 5 - Evans River 0

Presidents Cup

Byron Bay 36 (Campbell Harvey 4, Duane Pakai, Jack Collett tries, Campbell Harvey 3 conversions) d Evans River 14 (Adam Armistead, Joel Spoor tries, Michael Miskle 2 conversions)

Half Time: Byron Bay 19 - Evans River 0



REVEALED: Clarence Valley Australia Day Award winners 2021

Premium Content REVEALED: Clarence Valley Australia Day Award winners 2021

The winners have been announced for the Clarence Valley

What’s on across the Clarence this Australia Day

Premium Content What’s on across the Clarence this Australia Day

If you’re looking to make the most of your Australia Day here are some of the...

Former sex ed teacher jailed for preying on underage girl

Premium Content Former sex ed teacher jailed for preying on underage girl

Retired teacher nabbed by undercover detectives preying on a child