Koalas hang on for win
By Bob Anthony email@example.com
IN a very physical encounter, South Tweed showed plenty of spirit against an ill-disciplined Kyogle outfit to run out 38-30 winners in their Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League match at the Dave Burns Field yesterday. The game was marred by numerous altercations, resulting in a number of players on both sides being sent to the sin bin. For Kyogle, a punch-up with roughly 18 minutes to go, resulted in the Bush Turkeys having to play the remainder of the game with only 12 men after Tom Ivanusa was sent off. South Tweed showed both attacking brilliance and gritty defence though their on-field discipline at times let the visitors back into the game. For the third week in a row, South Tweed allowed their opponents to skip out to an early lead but this time the Koalas had the answer and struck back with the first of three tries scored by forward Brock Mathers. The first half proved to be a see-sawing affair with Kyogle leading 6-4 only to see South Tweed pour on 12 points in 10 minutes with tries to centre Tom Phillips, the first of his three for the day, and then fullback Gene Slockee who also had a good day with the boot, converting five goals. The points avalanche meant the Koalas led 16-6 however Kyogle, through some adventurous ball movement, posted another uncoverted try to trail 16-10 until a sin binning offence against South Tweed's Chris Sommerville gave the visitors the opportunity to captilise on a short defensive line and draw level going into the break 16-all. The restart couldn't have gone worse for the home side with Kyogle crossing within the first few minutes of the second half to regain the lead. The Koalas soon replied through some excellent lead-up work by crafty halfback Reece Sandy to put Phillips in for his second try. Some outstanding individual work by captain coach Matt Manning who held a pass to perfection saw Mathers in for his second try of the day and five minutes later Manning was in again with South Tweed leading 32-20. However, a lack of discipline allowed the Turkeys to draw within eight points but with tension mounting on the field, it was the visitors who lacked composure with a player sent off following a fracas. A third try to Phillips with only minutes to go and consolation try to hard working Kyogle forward Pedersen completed the scoring.