Lower Clarence five-eighth Grant Brown.
Lower Clarence five-eighth Grant Brown. Matthew McInerney

Lower Clarence tackles Ballina in postponed match

WHAT looked to be a changed side, the Lower Clarence Magpies took off from the first take full of fire with all guns blazing in the NRRRL match against Ballina Seagulls.

Just minutes into the game, a quick break from centre Aaron Martin had the Magpies flirting with the try line, but it was Ballina's speed and fitness that led the former premiers to a 58-10 win.

Despite low numbers and the absence of captain Ryan Binge, the Magpies appeared a cohesive side under the guidance of five-eighth Grant Brown and help from Under 18s and Reserve Grade players.

Front rower Birrigan Young was sent off mid-match, leaving a smaller than normal front row pack, but strong performances from Brayden Hockings and Rhys Appo kept the solid hits coming.

Quick passes proved the home side's strength, but the Magpies had some of their own glory with tries to winger Jacob Essex and Brown in the second half.

Thursday night's game at Kingsford Smith Park was a catch-up match after the round five game was called off due to the death of Magpies Reserves player Zane Purcell.

A minute silence was held before kick off, and donations were taken for the Zane Purcell Trust Fund, resulting in a cheque for $1250 at the end of the night.

The NRRRL has a general bye over the long weekend. The next Magpies game is in Casino on June 14.



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