Bangalow hold on for tight win
Bangalow travelled to Evans Head to take on the Evans River Killer Whales last Saturday. Having played Evans and won in three past grand finals, the game was always going to be a spirited affair.
Against the wind the visitors started well playing ball in hand rugby, working through the phases and getting over the advantage line. Eventually a penalty was awarded but Bangalow’s kicker Kerry Jennings missed from in front.
The momentum was lost, Evans applied the pressure and kicked a penalty to go 3-0 up. Bangalow responded playing some nice rugby during the half, scoring a converted try to Dick Collins off a nice offload from Richard Kelly close to the sticks. Evans kicked another penalty to take the score to 7-6 at half-time.
With the wind in the second half the game plan looked simple for Bangalow, kick to the corners and apply the pressure. Evans came out focused and took control after Bangalow were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes from ill-discipline, scoring a great try in the corner to gain the lead.
Bangalow regrouped and scored a converted try to Chris Davies to take back the lead 14-11. Evans responded yet again with some great running from their back three, eventually scoring a try of a scrum down the blind side.
With five minutes to go, down 16-14 Bangalow worked their way down field securing a penalty which was kicked by Kerry Jennings. Evans nearly scored in the dying minutes, but Bangalow held on to win 17-16.
Both teams played some excellent running rugby in patches with the lead changing six times, but with the finals looming Bangalow were well below par.
Throughout the game Bangalow were guilty of poor technique in contact, poor ball skills, failure to follow instructions and failure to adapt to the referee’s decisions.
This weekend Bangalow third, play second- placed Kyogle at Bangalow at 2.30 in the last game of the round before the semis.