Yamba falls short in windy encounter

The Yamba Buccaneers hosted traditional local rugby powerhouse Ballina Seahorses on Saturday, losing by one point in what was a tight see-sawing affair. 

After a week of solid rain, Yamba Oval remained damp under foot, and with howling southerly winds it was always going to be trying conditions for a game of free-flowing rugby. 

The start of the game was an even contest with both forward packs going head-to-head in a battle to secure field position. After conceding some early penalties along with a few handling errors, Yamba showed good resilience in defence on their own line against the larger Ballina team. Once they were able to control possession for an extended period and link together some phases, the Buccaneers started to win the territory battle and soon found success scoring a converted try down the Lions Park end.

Towards the back end of the half, Ballina started to find inroads in the Buccaneers defence using their bigger ball runners to consistently get over the advantage line. Ill-discipline from Yamba saw them lose a man to the bin and Ballina were able to capitlise by scoring an unconverted try through their inside centre after shifting the ball wide while on the attack. 

Ballina once again started the second half on the attack, scoring their second unconverted try giving them a 7-10 lead. After Ballina injected their much larger bench it seemed the Seahorses were getting on top of the game, however, the Buccaneers showed great resolve and started to find space out wide with ball in hand as well as ascendency in the ruck contest. The Buccs capitalised with a try in the canteen corner which was impressively converted directly into the gusting wind to the delight of the local Yamba supporters. 

Unfortunately, it was not enough with the Seahorses gaining back momentum and scoring a late unconverted try to give them a one-point lead they would ultimately hold onto until the end of the game. 

This is Yamba’s second close loss at home against strong opposition, but the positive sign is that when the Buccaneers can control the ball for extended periods, they will be able to match it with any team in the competition. It was also great to see a number of the younger Yamba players stand up against a more experienced and larger opposition which will be of benefit in the long run.

Next week is a massive day of rugby at Yamba with up to six games scheduled across both the Kane Douglas Rugby Field and Yamba Oval.

Far North Coast representative teams will be taking on Brisbane’s Nudgee College in the Under 12’s, 13’s, 14’s & 15’s with the first matches to kick off at 11am.

Under 18s: Yamba Buccaneers Seniors will take on Lismore at 1:50pm on Yamba Oval, followed by Yamba 2nd Grade playing Wollongbar at 3pm.

This will be one of the biggest days of rugby the Yamba Buccaneers has hosted for a number of years so we encourage both old and new supporters to come down to what should be a fantastic day and to cheer on the Buccaneers!