The Mullumbimby Moonshiners travelled to Lismore on Saturday looking to avenge the loss of a fortnight ago and secure top spot on the Far North Coast Rugby Presidents Cup ladder.
From the kick-off a good chase and solid rucking earned Mullum a penalty. Nathan ‘Super Boot’ Nicholls had no problem splitting the uprights.
Lismore responded with a ten-minute phase of possession in Mullum’s half, recycling through an experienced and dominant forward pack. But the onslaught yielded only three points as the competition’s tightest defence led by Deadly Duncan Kendall held strong.
When a petulant Lismore second rower attempted to slap the strapping tape of Jamie Stevens’s head he was yellow carded, Nicholls applied the salt to the wound, slotting the penalty.
Mullum upped the ante when the old camapigner Dillon ‘WeeMan’ Pyne gathered a difficult ball on the wing ran twenty metres then chipped and chased. Pyne was all over the Lismore defence like a cheap suit forcing them to scramble the ball into touch. It set up Mullum’s first try.
Jackson Lewin fast off the ruck to Nicholls for a cut out pass to Nathan Appel who needed no invitation to dissect a strung out Lismore defence and push the score to 11–3. Hooker Leon Matchett-Oates was among the Shiners’ best early but over-exuberance conceded a penalty and cost him ten in the bin. Lismore seized their opportunity, working deep into attack then setting up their tight head prop to hit the ball running, break a tackle and surge across the line.
Mullum up by three at oranges but honours evenly shared.
Mullum came out swinging from the break driving a maul deep into Lismore territory. Then strong runs from Jamie Stevens and Wal Andrews drew the defence and created the overlap.
Flanker Brett Hazlett exploited the numbers goose stepping his way across the glue pot for a try. Minutes later a double tackle left him heaving on the sidelines.
Mitch ‘Bulldozer’ Arthur squared up with a bone rattling hit on Lismore’s full back. Mullum had the edge in fitness and depth off the bench. The home side was visibly tiring and Nath Nicholls drove the boot in. He turned them at every opportunity allowing Simon Hutton to terrorise them with his outrageous speed. He nailed the Lismore coffin running unopposed alongside teammates Hazlewood and Nichols to chase a kick into Lismore’s in goal and score.
Lismore pulled a try back at the death but 28–13 told the story of a hard fought but impressive Moonshine victory. Mitch Arthur and irrepressible scrum half Jackson Lewin shared players player. With two weeks off the Shiners’ next game is at home on Saturday August 3.
Tickets for the August 10 25th Anniversary dinner are selling fast can be purchased at the Bruns Bowlo or by phoning them on 6685 1328.