The Mullumbimby Giants travelled to Evans Head on Sunday for their NRRRL clash on a high after three wins on the trot, but came crashing back to earth with a 42–20 loss.
Unheralded at the start of the season, they were the comp’s Cinderella story after accounting for premiers Murwillumbah and the Cudgen Hornets. Confidence was sky high, notwithstanding the absence of captain Sam ‘Johnny’ Martin.
Under a sunny blue sky, the Bombers kicked off, Mullum dropped the ball close to the line in their first set and, from the scrum, Evans Head scored a try that looked a little too easy.
Next time we looked up, it was to see that the home side had gone at a point-a-minute to be leading 36–0.
Falling off tackles and ball-watching, Mullum were playing like sleepwalkers, while the Bombers were blistering.
Brilliantly cohesive and self-assured, their sleight of hand and fleetness of foot were too much for the Giants.
Second-rower Jack ‘the Lad’ Govett, an ornery character who loves to get the pill in his hands, got one back for the Giants on the stroke of halftime and, with Louie ‘the fly’ Earl’s conversion, the boys were at least on the board as they trudged to the sheds.
The second forty was a different story.
Mullum rolled their sleeves up and, with a fair share of possession and a more spirited attitude, they took the last round by 14–6.
But there should never be any comfort in that, for the Bombers had the points in the bag already and psychologically would have taken their foot off the pedal.
Even so, it was heartening to see Mullum’s response.
Guided around the paddock by Earl and Shaun ‘the Horn’ Carey, they managed to get the score back to 36–20.
Evans scored again at the death to make it 42–20.
The Giants were run ragged in the first stanza, but in the end were not disgraced.