Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Byron Hand Kyogle a Lesson in League

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Byron Hand Kyogle a Lesson in League

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Kirkpatrick sport@northernstar.com.au

THREE players were given early showers in a spiteful finish to yesterday's Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League match between Byron Bay and Kyogle at Red Devil Park.

Byron won the match convincingly, 40-12, but not before Mick Lambert and Michael Chapman were given their marching orders along with Kyogle's Scott Lavelle.

Frustrations had been building in the game with a lot of ball-tossing and low blows in tackles, but with less than nine minutes left tempers boiled over.

Lavelle appeared to take exception to his treatment in a tackle and when he started swinging punches it was on for young and old.

Several subsidiary boxing bouts spilled into various sections of the field as the referee and touch judges struggled to regain control.

When the dust settled, and the touch judges made their reports, the two Devils were given 10 min-utes in the sin-bin along with Lav-elle, effectively ending their afternoon's work.

But playing with two men less didn't slow Byron Bay down in the slightest, as they added two tries in the period immediately after the punch-up.

The fisticuffs didn't detract from the Red Devils' performance as the defending premiers bounced back from last week's local derby loss to Mullumbimby.

"It's always hard to come down from the derbies," Byron coach Nathan Cross said.

"There's always so much hype around the local derbies and we haven't played Kyogle here for about four or five years.

"Obviously they only just lost to United last week and we knew they would be switched on and we knew it was going to be pretty tough.

"Even though we are only one win away from the competition leaders a loss today would have been very detrimental to our season."

The result was far from a foregone conclusion at half-time with the Devils ahead 16-6. …

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