Sea Eagles and Roosters meet in a Group 2 local derby thriller

Macksville Sea Eagle Jimmy Cutmore is wrapped up by Roosters defenders during Sunday’s Round 2 First Grade game at Coronation Park.

THE highly anticipated Round 2 local derby between the Nambucca Roosters and the Macksville Sea Eagles took place on Sunday 21 April and lived up to expectations across the grades.

Despite weather conditions through the week making some sports grounds in the Group 2 area unusable, the playing surface at Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads was relatively dry underfoot and games were unaffected by rain.

In the First Grade clash it was the home team first to pick up points when a spirited attack down the centre of the park saw the Roosters’ Dane Saunders score a try within the first two minutes of the game, converted by Tyronne Roberts-Davis.

Macksville looked set to answer eight minutes later when a penalty from a dangerous Roosters tackle turned momentum their way, however they were unable to cross the line despite maintaining good field position for several minutes.

When Nambucca regained possession they passed the ball around, changing the direction of play repeatedly and catching the defenders off guard, with Roberts-Davis scoring under the posts and converting his own try to take the score to 12-0 after just fifteen minutes.

Six minutes later Macksville opened their account when a passage of play close to their line saw the ball traverse the field to the Sea Eagles’ Daniel Donovan to score in the corner.

With the try not converted, the score was now 12-4.

With 15 minutes left in the half an attacking play, which saw just about every Rooster on the field get a touch of the ball, put Jack Margetts over in the corner.

Before the first half was over the home side would score again when a dropped ball deep in Macksville territory was recovered by Nambucca’s Logan Jones, who crossed the line to end the half with the Roosters in front 20-4.

Both teams began the second half with renewed determination, however seven minutes into the half Nambucca’s Khan Jarrett added more points to the Roosters tally, converted by Roberts-Davis, bringing the score to 26-4.

With growing confidence the Roosters returned to the quick hands attacking play that had worked for them in the early stages of the game and a Logan Jones try, again converted by Roberts-Davis, brought the score line to 32-4.

The highlight of the game for the home crowd was next when Toby Batten out stepped the Macksville defence to score a try in his First Grade debut.

Tyronne Roberts-Davis returned to top form with the boot and the score went to 38-4.

It only took two more minutes for Nambucca’s Dean Goodwin to pick up a pass on the burst and score under the posts, converted by Roberts-Davis.

In the dying minutes of the game a well placed Macksville kick enabled Jimmy Cutmore to cross the line for the Sea Eagles.

The final whistle then blew to signify a convincing 44-8 win for the Nambucca Roosters.

The three minor grade matches went Macksville’s way and all were great games of rugby league enjoyed by several hundred supporters from both sides of the river.

The high standard of football in the Reserve Grade game showed that both clubs have great depth in their player base.

The visitors drew first blood in just under 10 minutes and kept the Roosters chasing the score line for the rest of the match.

A late run of tries by the home side in the last five minutes of play brought them within two points of the levelling the score, however the Sea Eagles ended up with the win 24-22 in a toughly contested game of football.

The Women’s Tackle also saw the points taken home by the Sea Eagles, however both teams put on a thrilling game for the big crowd.

The skills level of both sides improves significantly with each game, particularly running with the ball and defensive play, however the Sea Eagles had the edge on the Roosters on this occasion, winning decisively 16-4.

The curtain raiser for the home derby was the Under 18s match up and, as expected, it was an exciting game with all the energy and passion we see each time these two sides meet on the paddock.

Handling errors, largely due to an initially greasy playing surface, and some cheap penalties marred the opening stages of the game, however this gave way to some classy rugby league.

Ultimately the Macksville boys piled on too many points for the home side to match and won the game in great style, 24-6.

Next weekend, Round 3, Macksville will host South Grafton on Sunday 28 April at Allan Gillett Oval and the Nambucca Roosters have the bye.

Nambucca Valley rugby league fans are urged to get to Allan Gillet oval and cheer the Sea Eagles home against the South Grafton Rebels.


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