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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Comp leaders triumph in local rugby derby

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Byron celebrate another try as they continue to dominate the competition. Photo Peter Moore
Byron celebrate another try as they continue to dominate the competition. Photo Peter Moore

Byron Bay Rugby continued their unbeaten form by defeating the Bangalow Rebels 22–8 in a night game held last Thursday under lights at Alby Lofts Oval in Brunswick Heads.

Byron started the game strongly as they have done so many times this season.

They regained the ball from their own kick-off and set up great field position in the Bangalow half and they soon capitalised.

After several phases, five-eighth John Laughlin called a change in the direction of play that sent the ball to No 8 Jack Cooke on the blind side, who was able to get past the defence and cross the line close to the corner.

Bangalow were then punished after their No 8 Otty Fifita was given a yellow card for making a high tackle on Byron’s Matt Lund. His replacement Troy Wynter went on to score the second try of the match after more sustained pressure from Byron.

Later in the half a strong Byron scrum 5m out allowed stand-in Byron scrum half Josh Smith to feed centre  Craig Wallace who cut straight through the Bangalow defence to score under the posts.

Byron went into the half-time break with a comfortable 17–3 lead.

The second half saw each team earn a try, bringing the final score to 22–8.

With Bangalow still hunting a place in the top four, sitting in fifth position, club president David Phillips was relatively happy with the performance.

‘Given Byron are undefeated this season we were not that unhappy with the result. It was five all in the second half.

‘They were on top in the first half after they scored an early try off the kick-off from a clever move, but Bangalow did have better moments in the second half.

‘Byron deserved to win,’ he said.

The table-leading Byron team was depleted after last week’s tough charity match against Lennox Head and were weary of  the rising Bangalow side. But their current form is too hard to argue with.

Lennox Head beat second-place Wollongbar, which means that Byron Bay are now 14 points clear at the top of the table.

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