Northern Rivers soars into semis clash
NORTHERN Rivers has moved into the semi-finals of the NSW Country Rugby league Championships after putting North Coast to the sword 56-14 at Coffs Harbour on Saturday.
The Scott Sattler-coached Northern Rivers’ side led 32-0 at one point after going into half-time with a 20-0 lead, before cruising in the middle part of the second-half.
Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) president Brian Rix paid tribute to the players who gelled together well, despite limited preparation.
“They prepared well and that was the pleasing thing,” Rix said.
“The whole team performed strongly and it was a great result to get through the first round and into the second.”
Tweed representatives had a day out with Caleb Ziebell (Cudgen) and Jared de Thierry (Raiders) impacting throughout, while Jake Sands (Cudgen) and Guy Lanston (Raiders) joined Anthony Coleman (Ballina) in recording try-scoring doubles.
“It was hard to single any players out, but if you had to, I’d single out (Mitchell) Krause and Ziebell,” Rix said.
“Ziebell had a blinder, he had a great game and was probably one of the best.”
Rix said de Thierry was also influential, with his play from the halves getting Northern Rivers on the front foot.
Northern Rivers now advance to a showdown with Tier One side Riverina in Dubbo this Saturday.
Riverina, the competitions reigning champions, are coming off a loss to Central Coast on the weekend.
Players involved in the clash against North Coast were able to backup for club football on Sunday and will have a short turnaround for the clash in Dubbo, coming off a six-day break.
“All we can do now is hope all the players come through fit and gel together again for Saturday,” Rix said.
Northern Rivers: 56 (Tries: Dan Lollback 2, Anthony Coleman 2, Jake Sands 2, Guy Lanston 2, Roy Bell, Jared de Thierry. Goals: Roy Bell 7, Jake Sands) defeated North Coast: 14 (Tries: Mitch Gorman, Tim Bridge, Luke Beaumont. Goals: Lachie Miller 2).