Rugby league: Macksville Sea Eagles make flying start

MACKSVILLE Sea Eagles are back in the winner’s circle after they defeated the Bellingen Magpies 34-12 at the Graveyard.
Nanjing Night Net

The infamous trip has long been a daunting task for any team, and with the Eagles coming off two losses this was expected to be a difficult game.

The first half proved exactly that with Bellingen first to score taking an early 6-0 lead. For a while the Eagles struggled, seemingly unable to complete a set of six with the ball.

When they did gain momentum, they showed their real potential. Joe Borg was the first to cross for Macksville racing away after Troy Grace and Sam Miles combined in a great passing movement down the side line. Tyler Doolan converted to level the scores at 6 all. The score remained the same at the half-time whistle.

Whatever words captain/coach Troy Grace had for his charges in the break had an immediate impact as first he and then Chris Warden charged into the Bellingen tacklers.

From the play the ball Sam Miles made a great run before off-loading to Michael Tyerman who then passed to Borg to score his second in the corner to give the Eagles a 10-6 lead.

A short ball from Warden close to the line saw Tyerman cross for a well-deserved try, converted by Doolan.

Soon after a 40-metre dash from dummy-half by Doolan gave the Eagles a 22-6 lead before the Magpies crossed for a try to close the gap to 22-12.

Borg picked up a loose ball, despite pressure from the Magpies, to race 80m and score his third. A successful conversion saw the score read 28-12.

In the dying minutes, Keith Donovan crossed for the Eagles’ final try on the back of a great break by Tyerman. Doolan converted, the final score 34-12.

“I was happy to get the win and happy with the second half,” captain/coach Troy Grace told the Guardian. “We’ve gotten back to our game plan and know we are a better team than we’ve performed in the first two games and the first half Sunday, so the confidence is still there.

“Sunday will be hard because we have never faced Grafton before. But if the attitude is there in defence and we stick to our sets in attack we’ll be right.

* The reserve grade clash saw the Eagles pick up the two points for the first time this year, taking the game 44-14.

This was a good win for the Eagles, their forwards charging into the Bellingen defence with purpose and the backs showing some scintillating form.

Jimi Allan and Mike Kelly scored two tries each, while Dave Lindsay, Graham Donovan, Braden Fitzgerald, Dylan King and Ken Walker scored one. David Pickvance kicked two goals while Allan and Fitzgerald kicked a goal each.

* The under 18s had their work cut out for them, but managed to walk away with a 24-18 win.

This was a hard game of league, both sides dominating at times but in the end the Eagles were the stronger team.

Michael Williams, Keith Donovan, Sam Shields and Josh Bartlett scored a try each for the Eagles while Caleb Handley kicked four goals.

This Sunday, the Eagles return to Allan Gillett Oval to take on South Grafton in three grades with the under 18s to kick off at noon.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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