Byron Bay rugby have moved into the top four after a record breaking 78–0 win against Southern Cross University at the Rec Fields on Saturday. The 12-try romp is the biggest win by the Bay First Grade and fullback Jash Saek’s haul of 33 points is an individual record for the club.
Byron are not known for racking up huge margins and the students were still in the contest trailing by 14 at the half-hour mark. Craig Wallace had taken matters into his own hands for the first try, tapping from a centre-field free kick, skirting wide to the right touchline before choosing an opponent to run over en route to the try line.
The Irishman, now sporting a cheeky ponytail and looking rather a long way from home, went on to score his first hat trick for the club and threw the last pass for two others.
Byron moved to a game winning 26–0 advantage by half time. Matt Larsson, Ryan Betts and Rob Lynch were making huge inroads close to the ruck and hooker Tom Homer’s tireless support play was rewarded with a try.
The already jovial Byron supporters were treated to something special after the break. The excellent James Hawley put centre partner Tom Sandstrom through untouched from the first scrum of the half.
Within twenty minutes the Bay had posted another four tries with an expansive and intelligent style of rugby that left the willing students simply unable to plug the gaps.
Saeck was a constant threat from the back and he soon joined Wallace with a hat trick of tries. The scoring spoils were well shared between prop Aaron Shakeshoff, flanker Rob Lynch, Number 10 Ben Orme and winger Ben Macnee.
Byron has followed a long pre-season with the revolutionary approach of training twice a week and there is a noticeable improvement in individual player skills. The Bay’s lineout has also become an attacking weapon with the Welshman Shakeshoff throwing darts.
Byron’s squad was strengthened on Saturday by the appearance of popular Kiwi Rafer Smith and the return of Grand Final hero Nathan Nicholls from injury. Centre Romey Vassal was unavailable to play the students but will return for this Saturday’s much-anticipated Round 5 trip to Lennox Head.
Byron’s wonderful return to First Grade last season was kick-started with a win against the Trojans at fortress Lennox. The Bay went on to end their neighbours’ five-year run of First Grade titles with victory in the semifinal.
The Trojans currently sit third above Byron Bay and a mouth-watering clash is in prospect. For those who simply cannot wait until Saturday the mighty Byron Bay Under-9s play Lennox Head at the Rec Fields on Friday evening.
Go the Bay!