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July 20, 2024

High-intensity rugby ends in a draw

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WAR (red) manage to crack the defence of the Byron Shire Rebels in the dying seconds to tie up the top-of-the-table fixture 18–18. Photo Vicky Kerri

In Far North Coast first-grade rugby union, the anticipated clash between two competition heavyweights, the Byron Shire Rebels and Wollongbar Alstonville Rugby (WAR), ended in an 18-all draw after a last-minute try for the home side last Saturday afternoon at Lyle Park.

The Rebels got the score-board going in the opening minutes of the encounter with an unconverted try in the left corner.

The arm wrestle, complete with grinding and gritty defence, then got underway as both teams looked for space out wide.

Home side hits lead

By half time the home side had hit the lead through two penalties off the boot of Sam Kerry.

Again the Rebels struck early in the second half with a converted try, but the hard competitive rugby continued and WAR soon scored a seven-pointer, to once again put them a point ahead.

Byron dominated possession through the middle of the final half and converted two penalties to give them a five-point buffer.

Rebels try scorers were Reuben Shepherd and Oliver Shakeshaft.

But it wasn’t enough as the never-say-die attitude of WAR came to the fore via a try in the corner. As the conversion drifted wide, the final whistle sounded, with the sides even on the scoreboard after a tough 80 minutes.

WAR try scorers were Hamish Mould and Joe Blyth.

The game left the sides with plenty to ponder as other teams made their claim on the competition.

The Ballina Seahorses had a cracking 13-try win over Evans River to leave them clear on the top of the first-grade competition.

The Rebels and WAR follow with Casuarina Beach in fourth place, following their strong 52–20 win over Lennox Head playing at home.

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