Story & photo John Campbell
Tries were distributed generously among the Red Devils on Saturday as they easily accounted for Evans Head to the tune of 42–18.
With the NRRRL play-offs just around the corner, Byron Bay is coming home with a wet sail and, notwithstanding their penchant for the occasional brain-fade, they will fancy their chances against the big guns.
The Bombers had no answer to the enterprise and cohesion of the men in red as Cale ‘JJ’ Rowston, Joe ‘don’t call me Hockey’ Gordon, Scott ‘Julio’ Stapleton, Bill ‘the Lion’ King, Chris ‘BB’ King, Jared ‘Monsieur’ De Thierry and A N Other all crossed the chalk and prodigious young fullback William ‘Peppi’ Goldsmith guided seven out of seven conversions though the sticks.
The Bombers, known to have the dodgiest canteen in the league, are always hard to beat at home and, to their credit, they didn’t stop trying all afternoon. When a run of possession came their way they posed some problems for the Bay – their strong-running centre and beefy prop were a handful – but when the Devils put it into top gear the end result was never in doubt.
The try of the day came just before half-time. Peter ‘Facebook’ Flannery broke clear on the blind. Looking inside he saw the flowing mane of Bill ‘the Lion’ King. King took a sweet pass into the breadbasket and showed a clean pair of heels to his pursuers on a sixty-metre sprint to the line in which he made the Bombers’ fullback look like Douglas Bader.
Next Sunday, the boys are at home to a barnstorming Kyogle in what might possibly be a grand-final preview. It’ll be a cracker. Be there, be loud.
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Winning becomes a habit. The Evans Head Bombers, an honest but not outstanding team, have acquired it. Byron Bay’s Red Devils have gone cold turkey on it.
My dad was a man of few words, but he had an expression: ‘what you need is a good kick up the arse’.
All of a sudden, the threat of the wooden spoon looms larger than the prospect of a finals berth for the Byron Bay Red Devils.
Footy teams strive to make a fortress of their home ground. Playing in familiar surrounds, in front of one-eyed tragics, without having to travel far and wide, is the ideal scenario in rugby league-land.
It’s easy to be a smart arse after the event, isn’t it?