PIVOTAL PLAYER: Michael Hughes takes on the defence in the under-15 Group 1 grand final between the Clarence Coast Magpies and the Ballina Seagulls at Frank McGuren Field on Saturday.
PIVOTAL PLAYER: Michael Hughes takes on the defence in the under-15 Group 1 grand final between the Clarence Coast Magpies and the Ballina Seagulls at Frank McGuren Field on Saturday. Mitchell Keenan

MIGHTY MAGPIES: Clarence Coast fly in battle of the birds

JUNIOR RUGBY LEAGUE: The Clarence Coast Magpies under-15s produced a brilliant performance to beat a prolific Ballina Seagulls side in the grand final at Frank McGuren Field on Saturday.

Two tries to imposing forward Nicholas Torrens and strong performances from Michael Hughes and hooker Connor Bridges capped off a rock-solid team display to hand the Magpies the premiership.

Clarence Coast coach Brendan Randall couldn't have been happy with his side after putting the icing on the cake of what was a great year.

"It was a tremendous effort, I'm very proud,” Randall said.

"I started with kids two years ago and it's pleasure with them. I've treated them like I would a senior side and every challenge they've faced they've come through with flying colours.”

Randall came in with a game plan and his side had all the right answers when it came to crunch time.

"It went exactly as planned. We held strong and worked our game plan to a treat. They're a very focussed bunch and I can't fault any of them,” he said.

"We basically knew where they would be coming and where they were going to attack us. We knew that if we held them up the middle, our class out wide would shine.”

Clarence Coast have always had a strong junior contingent and Randall hopes to carry on shaping the future stars of rugby league with the club.

"They're a good bunch of kids with a lot of talent. I'd like to stick with if they don't get sick of me,” he said.

"I'd love to be able to take them through under-16s and hopefully prepare them for under-18s and beyond.”

The Clarence Coast under-13s couldn't pull off a fourth straight grand final win but Randall was pleased to see the rivalry continue to grow between them and the Grafton Ghosts.

"They were two very well-matched sides and it was a great game,” he said.



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