Cudgen?s injury toll spoils win
By ADAM WRATTEN
CUDGEN produced a five-star performance to smash in-form Mullumbimby 50-6 at Ned Byrne Field yesterday.
However, the Hornets' day was marred by head injuries to key players Damien Bryant, Luke Erich and Korey Williams ahead of next week's clash with Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition leaders Seagulls.
The injury toll had Cudgen coach Jamie Mathiou fuming.
"I'll have a blast at the number of high shots, it was an absolute joke," Mathiou said.
"Things like that have to be controlled."
Mathiou said Erich had a suspected broken collar bone, Bryant suffered an eye socket injury while Williams was stretchered off with a neck injury.
The Hornets dominated yesterday's game from the outset against a side that has won 10 straight, including a last-up win against Murwillumbah.
Cudgen took the lead in the third minute and did not concede points until the 75th minute.
Five-eighth Craig Thurston was electrifying as he scored four tries, despite picking up a knock to his leg mid-way through the first half.
"Across the board I thought we were outstanding," Mathiou said.
"I would hate to single out any one player when the whole side did so well."
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"Everyone knows we have injuries and the boys that have come in have been fantastic.
"But I hope it's not (been) our grand final ... we have that many injuries now."
Byrant, standing in for injured prop Matty Chadburn opened the scoring when he grounded a clever kick into the Giants' in-goal area.
Thurston then bagged his first try, displaying a blistering turn of speed before racing 40 metres to score.
His second - almost a carbon copy - came eight minutes later.
Fullback Andrew King then delivered his side's next two tries. In the first he finished off a move that spread the ball the width of the field. For his second he capitalised on a good off-load by the impressive Andrew Hamilton to set up a 22-0 lead at the half-time break.
Little changed in the second half.
Thurston opened the scoring when he picked the ball up in broken play and beat two players with his speed to score out wide.
Nick Mobbs, Hamilton and Beau Buckley all scored one try each, before Mullumbimby got on the board with five minutes remaining when former Cudgen player Glen Godbee, playing in the centres for the Giants, grounded his own grubber kick.
However, Thurston had the last say of the game with his fourth try which moved him to 196 points for the season.
CUDGEN 50 (Tries, C Thurston 4, A King 2, B Buckley, A Hamilton, D Bryant, N Mobbs; Goals, N Mobbs 5) d MULLUMBIMBY 6 (Tries, G Godbee; Goals, P Latta). RESERVE: Cudgen 30 d Mullumbimby 20.
UNDER-18: Cudgen 22 d Mullumbimby 14.