Cudgen show strength against Devils

A SPIRITED performance against reigning Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League premiers Byron Bay at Ned Byrne Field yesterday has given Cudgen Hornets supporters plenty to be optimistic about for season 2009.

While both sides were missing key personnel, the Red Devils adapted best to their reshuffle to win the trial match 24-16.

Cudgen impressed early, opening up a 10-8 lead at the break but were unable to maintain the momentum as coach Con Theodossiou took the opportunity to give a number of fringe first grade players plenty of time on the field.

“This was a pretty good hit out for us and I was happy to run players in different positions and see how they went,” Theodossiou said.

“Both sides played some intense football and although we were a bit scrappy around the ruck, I was pleased with the commitment.”

Among the Hornets who shone yesterday were mercurial fullback Shannon Murphy who scored two tries, forwards Dan Chamont and Sean Pinder and halves Dan Woods and Tayne Mulheron.

The signs were also there that the Hornets will have plenty of depth this year as they bid for the premiership.

“There is some work still to do but we have some good players to come back so we should be right when the season kicks off,” Theodossiou said.

“We should be alright this year.”

Cudgen will host the Grafton Ghosts at Ned Byrne Field when the season commences on Good Friday, April 10.

The competition will comprise 14 teams this season including newcomers Evans Head and Lismore-based indigenous side Northern United.

The NRRRL will hold its season launch in Lismore on Wednesday, April 8.

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