Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Two Sent off as Giants Down Utd

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Two Sent off as Giants Down Utd

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Spinks

TWO players were sent-off and two were sin-binned following a dramatic Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League preliminary major semi-final which saw Mullumbimby prevail 30-16 over Northern United at Les Donnelly Field, Mullumbimby.

United centre Chris Swan was sent-off for a spear tackle on Mullum fullback Murray Brown midway through the first half while Northern captain and lock Alwyn Roberts was sent-off in the 63rd minute for punching and a head butt.

Both will front the judiciary this week and their spots for the weekend's minor semi-final at Lismore could be in jeopardy.

Mullumbimby captain Andrew Moroney was sin-binned for a high tackle as was United second-rower Al McKenzie, as referee James Hughes clamped down on foul play.

The controversy overshadowed Mullumbimby five-eighth Scott Hogan's quality performance which saw him cross for two tries as the Giants outgunned the Dirawongs up front.

However, while the scoreboard suggests a comfortable win by the home side, it was far from it.

With just 10 players on the paddock, United staged a remarkable comeback from 20-6 down in the final eight minutes to get within four points of the Giants but Hogan put the game to bed with his second try and halfback Troy Johnstone crossed late for the final scoreline.

In a disappointing scene, some of the Dirawongs players left the field with 10 seconds on the clock remaining and did not shake the hands of their opponents.

The contrast of the coaches was predictable.

Mullumbimby mentor Wayne Cullen was proud of his side for their discipline and outstanding scrambling defence, while United coach Chris Binge was impressed with his team's ability to stretch Mullum with 10 players.

Cullen lauded the performance of young referee Hughes, while Binge was ropeable about the officiating.

There is no doubt Hughes' decision to send-off two players had a major impact on the final result but there was little he could do.

Swan, who had made a number of breaks and was playing with great confidence until sent-off, upended Brown after the Mullumbimby fullback had been gang-tackled and stopped by four defenders and was going nowhere. …

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