Byron Bay sink Bangalow to claim local rugby derby

Lennox Head (Green) are looking to beat Byron and go to the top of the table this weekend.

Byron Bay Rugby Union have gone to the top of the competition ladder after beating rivals Bangalow 20–17.

The top-of-the-table clash was hard fought and if it weren’t for heroic defence from the Byron side in the last 15 minutes of the game, the result could have easily been reversed, Byron coach Jeff Watt said.

‘Our defence in the last stages was strong. The guys were really committed, desperate. I think Bangalow had plenty of opportunities to score,’ he said.

The game was locked at 10–10 at halftime.

Bangalow scored three tires to Byron’s two, but Byron was able to take its kicking opportunities through the boot of Joel Stocks, who converted both tries and kicked two penalties.

‘We regrouped in the second half and played very well, taking the points when they were on offer. That sort of decision making won us the game. Joel kicked very well,’ he said.

The win puts Byron Bay on top of the ladder, just one point clear of Bangalow. Lennox Head and Wollongbar-Alstonville are next in line but each have a game in hand.

Dru Baggaley and Michael Armstrong were the try scorers for Byron, while Chris Bleakley, Ryan Duffy and Harley Williams picked up five-pointers for Bangalow with Tom Slater converting one.

The Byron side will be looking to eradicate a tendency to give away too many penalties in the first half when they head down to Lennox Head this weekend, for what promises to be another quality game.

‘We’ll be working on our discipline and slide defence during the week. Lennox have some speedy backs who are young and fast,’ he said

Injuries are starting to cause some chopping and changing to the Byron side. ‘We are doing enough to stay out of trouble,’ Jeff said.

Lennox had the bye last week so should be well rested for the game. All the action from 12pm Saturday May 12 at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head.

Bangalow play at home and take on Casuarina Beach.

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