Story by The Engerneer
Coming off a strong rugby union win last week against Bangalow, the Bay had another tough task hosting the traditionally big Grafton pack at home on the weekend.
The first 10 minutes were played at high intensity as both teams attempted to settle into the game. Byron took first blood with a number of set plays coming off, which saw both Harvey Bell and Jascha Saeck cross the line early to put the Bay in front 12–0.
As expected, the big Grafton pack put pressure on our forwards and with a number of pick-and-drive phases through the middle, Grafton were able to score a converted try before the break to put the scores 12–7 at half-time.
The start of the second half saw some big hits as both forwards packs tussled to get over one another’s advantage line.
A couple of late injuries to the Byron pack resulted in the much-needed injection of fresh legs with Wal Andrews and Jamie Blair coming off the bench providing a big defensive effort.
A tactical shift had Na than Nicholls switch from halfback to centre and when he managed to deliver a perfectly timed kick deep into Grafton’s territory some solid pressure from Byron’s backs created a turnover that led to a classic Mitch Loane try.
A couple of late quality tries from Harvey and Jascha sealed the game, with the boot of Brandon Lewsey putting it out of contention.
It was a tough win at home for the Bay against a Grafton outfit with a never-say-die attitude. It was great to see Byron keeping calm and playing to the game plan; this team is starting to show a lot of maturity with a final score of 31–12.
The best for the Bay were Jed O’Hare, Harvey Bell and Will Aiseke for taming the big Grafton forwards and Tom Homer.
The team now has two byes in a row owing to the Anzac Day Country Championships, in which Byron Bay have at least five players represented in the FNC zone team; more on that next week.
Our next game is on 9 May at home against Casino (competing for the inaugural Bush to Surf trophy).
Go the Bay.