New-look Buccs hit top form
THE Yamba Buccaneers warmed up for the 2011 Far North Coast rugby union season with a 57-7 thrashing of the Armidale Barbarians at Yamba Rugby Oval on Saturday.
The Buccaneers fielded a new-look side with only six players available from the 2010 grand final team. The rest of the line-up comprised Buccaneer under-19 players and some “guests” from the Iluka Cosacks.
The hosts were not sure what to expect from the Barbarians, who play first grade in the strong New England competition.
The Barbarians started strongly and controlled possession and territory for the opening 10 minutes but the Buccaneers defence kept their rivals at bay.
After withstanding the initial pressure from the Barbarians, the Buccaneers opened the scoring with Adam Timbs-Nelmes crossing for the first of his four tries for the day. Kris Thomsen landed the conversion to give the home side a 7-0 lead.
Timbs-Nelmes and Thomsen added another seven points to the score-line before the 20-minute mark.
The Buccaneers forwards began to assert their authority on the game with the home side’s defence putting plenty of pressure on the Barbarians.
The defensive pressure reaped dividends with Ricky Schnieder, Micele Cervalla, Rob Bell and Pete Thornton crossing for tries while Timbs-Nelmes added another two to his tally.
The Buccaneers led 52-0 before a late converted try to the Barbarians got them on to the scoreboard.
A try just on full-time to Jim Seminaoli after some great lead-up work from the departing Cohen Rheinberger gave Yamba an impressive 57-7 victory.
All players performed well with loose forwards Ethan Stacey, Micele Cervalla and Ben Olsen among the standouts while Dan Cowling who was making a return to rugby after a lengthy layoff, also impressed.
In the backs, Byron Aitken and Kris Thomsen played strongly along with try-scoring whiz Timbs-Nelmes.
The under-19s kick-off their 2011 season when they take on Lennox Head Trojans at Yamba Rugby Oval next Saturday at 2.30pm.