NRRRL finals race heats-up
WITH only five rounds to go in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition's home and away draw, pressure is building on the Tweed teams aiming for finals action.
The Cudgen Hornets are the best placed team from the Tweed, sitting just one point outside the top five but the Tweed Coast, on 12 points, is still in with a chance but can't afford to drop too many more games.
Murwillumbah, sitting on eight points, could mathematically make the five with an outstanding winning streak and some luck in other matches but even the most ardent Mustangs supporters would admit the odds stack against them.
Newcomers to the competition, Northern United, are clear leaders on 24 points and could claim the minor premiership on debut.
However second-placed Lower Clarence, on 22, could easily catch them should United stumble and with a better percentage, would regain the lead in the comp.
Mullumbimby are in outright third on 20, followed by premiers Byron Bay on 18 and last year's other grand finalists Grafton Ghosts on 16.
For Cudgen, their run to the end of the season will see them away to Casino, home to Tweed Coast, away to Murwillumbah, away to the Ghosts and then home to Mullum.
Tweed Coast is home to Northern United, away to Cudgen, home to Evans Head, away to Murwillumbah and home to the Ghosts.
Murwillumbah's last five games starting this weekend will be home to Byron, away to Ballina, home to Cudgen, home to Tweed Coast and away to Evans Head.
Cudgen, on 15, are in sixth spot followed by the Tweed Coast 12, Grafton Rhinos 12, Ballina 10, Murwillumbah 8, Kyogle 7, Marist Brothers 5, Evans Head 5 and Casino 4.
In reserve grade Mullumbimby are clear leaders on 26 followed by Ballina 22, Evans Head 18, Lower Clarence 17, Tweed Coast 16, Byron and Cudgen both 14, Grafton Ghosts 12, Murwillumbah 10, Marist Brothers 9, Northern United 8, Grafton Rhinos 6, Kyogle 4 and Casino 2.
In the under 18s, Ballina leads on percentage from Kyogle and Lower Clarence with all three sides on 20, Northern United are fourth on 18 with Evans Head on 17 rounding out the five.
Next comes Tweed Coast on 16, Grafton Ghosts and Marist Brothers on 13, Murwillumbah 12, Mullumbimby 11, Cudgen and Grafton Rhinos 8, Casino 2 and Byron 0.