Byron Bay Rugby win through to Grand Final

The Pioneers scored a try in the corner on Saturday, and have a second chance at the grand final this week. Photo Vicky Kerry

The Pioneers scored a try in the corner on Saturday, and have a second chance at the grand final this week. Photo Vicky Kerry

Byron Bay have booked a place in the grand final by beating last year’s premiers Wollongbar-Alstonville on Saturday afternoon, 26–21.

‘It was without a doubt one of the best games of the 2016 season,’ Byron Bay’s Andrew Teuma said.

Byron Bay started on the back foot after losing winger Christian Rossi to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

Despite a strong defensive effort from the Bay the overlap was there and eventually the Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers scored and backed it up with a penalty from fly-half Ben Damen.

Byron Bay pulled the difference back to one point by half time after some dominant phase play saw number 8 Jack Cooke crash over the line to start his team’s revival.

The second half was even more tense with a lot of back and forth between the two teams, which saw tries from crowd favourite Josh Smith crashing over the line using his strength and power to beat the Wollongbar ­defence.

Byron Bay players Will Aisake and Sean Nicholl had standout performances with Nicholl scoring two fantastic tries, breaking through the Wollongbar line and using his speed to dive over the line.

The two tries for the Pioneers were not enough despite heaps of effort.

Byron Bay Rugby finished four tries to three victors.

The defeated Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers Rugby Club have a second chance to make the grand final when they take on Ballina this weekend. The winner will meet the Byron side looking to make history by winning their first premiership, on September 10 in Lismore.


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