Close but no cigar for Group 2 Gladiators against Group 3
GROUP 2 has seven men in the 18-player North Coast squad after going down 36-34 to Group 3 in the annual Country Rugby League Championship clash.
It's the third straight year Group 2 has been on the wrong side of the scoreboard in the annual meeting.
The Gladiators took an early lead through tries to Matt Field and Lachie Miller but the match then turned when the home side crossed three times to lead 24-14 at the break.
The northern team was still able to put points on the board but each try was responded to by one from Group 3 and playing catch up is a hard habit to break in representative football.
Sawtell Panther Lachie Miller was tagged as among the best on the field while Bellingen's Luke Beaumont had a blinder from fullback to give his club it's first North Coast cap in many seasons.
Meanwhile, the last East Coast Dolphins side was eliminated from the AAMI Country Age Championships when the Under-16's were beaten 28-8 in the semi final meeting with Western Rams.
North Coast squad
1: Luke Beaumont (Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo)
2: Cody Robins (Port City)
3: Shayde Perham (Coffs Harbour)
4: Dylan Collett (Grafton)
5: Mitch Gorman (Grafton)
6: Matt Everett (Taree)
7: Lachie Miller (Sawtell)
8: Matt Kirkland (Forster-Tuncurry)
9: James Kelly (Port Macquarie)
10: Tom Maguire (Port Macquarie)
11: Matt Shipway (Port Macquarie)
12: Kurt Molony (Port Macquarie)
13: Matt Bird (Wauchope)
14: Kurt Lewis (Wingham)
15: Sam Miles (Macksville)
16: Adam Slater (Grafton)
17: Miles Fairbank (Coffs Harbour)
18: Beau Kettle (Wauchope)
Coach: Phil Trembath (Group 3)