The Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League grand final replay between Ballina Seagulls and Mullumbimby Giants turned into a no-contest at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, today, with the Giants emphatic 30-0 winners.
Mullumbimby proved too big, too fast and too well-drilled for the Seagulls.
The match-up was much-anticipated after last season’s epic grand final, which Mullum won 34-30 after trailing by eight points with less then 10 minutes remaining.
But it turned into a fizzer.
Ballina field only three players from last season’s grand final team. Coach Graham Lees said the average age of the side was 21.
Long-time Seagulls supporters couldn’t remember the last time Ballina was held scoreless at its home ground after a Mullum defensive effort which left Giants coach Damon Scott describing it as the best he had seen.
The Giants were put on the back foot when, after only five minutes, halfback Chase Nelson left the field with a shoulder injury.
Scott moved hooker Jake Francisco, who is new to the club after switching from Cobar, to halfback and he turned in a great effort, guiding the Giants’ attack around the field like an experienced halfback.
Mullumbimby led 14-0 at half-time.
In other matches today, Kyogle sounded a warning with a 32-16 win over Cudgen at New Park, Kyogle; Byron Bay struggled to beat a gallant Casino RSM 30-22 at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino; Tweed Coast beat Lower Clarence 26-18; Grafotn Ghosts beat Murwillumbah 40-0 at Grafton; and South Tweed defeated Grafton Rhinos 26-24 at South Tweed.