Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League premiers Mullumbimby Giants reignited their Retravision Northern League premiership defence with an 18-6 win over Lismore Marist Brothers at Oakes Oval, Lismore, on Saturday.
The injury-hit Giants had been struggling and, with Brothers using the day as a fund-raiser for Motor Neurone Disease victims, former players Bob Delaney and Geoff Irwin, the Lismore club was expected to be too strong.
But, in true Giants spirit, the Mullumbimby players stepped up a notch and now are equal fifth with Tweed Coast Raiders.
The Giants won all three grades in a performance which will stand the club in good stead in the race to the semi-finals.
In other weekend matches:
- Byron Bay stayed in top spot, but only just, winning 22-20 against Ballina at Byron Bay. The Red Devils had thrashed Ballina 66-4 only two rounds previously.
- Grafton Rhinos were too strong for Murwillumbah, winning 40-14 at Grafton.
- Grafton Ghosts stayed in second spot with a hard-fought 22-18 win over Tweed Coast at Cabarita.
- Kyogle’s semi-finals hopes took a nosedive, courtesy of a 40-26 loss to South Tweed at Kyogle.
- Casino RSM scored a rare win, thrashing Cudgen 46-10 at Kingscliff.
- Lower Clarence moved to fourth place, courtesy of the bye.
Meanwhile, there was an unusual scoreline in the Byron Bay v Ballina Under-18s game: Byron won 2-0.
A Byron Bay player had appeared to be seriously injured and the game was held up while an ambulance attended.
By the time play resumed, there was only about 10 minutes of playing time.
Points: Byron Bay 23, Grafton Ghosts 22, Marist Brothers 20, Lower Clarence 18, Mullumbimby 17, Tweed Coast Raiders 17, Kyogle 15, Grafton Rhinos 12, Casino 9, South Tweed 9, Cudgen 8, Murwillumbah 6, Ballina 6.
Round 14: Grafton Ghosts v South Tweed, Kyogle v Byron Bay, Ballina v Marist Brothers, Mullumbimby v Casino RSM, Cudgen vGrafton Rhinos, Murwillumbah v Lower Clarence, Tweed Coast v Evans Head.
- Evans Head v Lower Clarence, Stan Payne Oval, Evans Head, reserve grade only: Lower Clarence 40 d Evans Head 34.
- Grafton Rhinos v Murwillumbah, McKittrick Park, South Grafton:
1st grade: Grafton Rhinos 40 d Murwillumbah 14.
Reserve grade: Grafton Rhinos 48 d Murwillumbah 6.
Under-18s: Murwillumbah 26 d Grafton Rhinos 24.
- Marist Brothers v Mullumbimby, Oakes Oval, Lismore:
1st grade: Mullumbimby 18 d Marist Brothers 6.
Reserve grade: Mullumbimby 22 d Marist Brothers 10.
Under-18s: Mullumbimby 26 d Marist Brothers 6.
- Tweed Coast v Grafton Ghosts, Les Berger Field, Cabarita:
1st grade: Grafton Ghosts 22 d Tweed Coast 18.
Reserve grade: Tweed Coast 52 d Grafton Ghosts 4.
Under-18s: Tweed Coast Bye.
- Byron Bay v Ballina, Red Devil Park, Byron Bay”
1st grade: Byron Bay 22 d Ballina 20.
Reserve grade: Byron Bay 24 d Ballina 16.
Under-18s: Byron Bay 2 d Ballina 0.
- Kyogle v South Tweed, New Park, Kyogle:
1st grade: South Tweed 40 d Kyogle 26.
Reserve grade: Kyogle Bye.
Under-18s: Kyogle 18 d South Tweed 14.
- Cudgen v Casino RSM, Ned Byrne Field, Kingscliff:
1st grade: Casino RSM 46 d Cudgen 10.
Reserve grade: Cudgen 38 d Casino RSM 28.
Under-18s: Cudgen 20 d Casino RSM 16.