'Horses smash under-strength Roosters

WOOLGOOLGA swept aside another VB Group 2 challenger when they downed Nambucca Heads 74-10 at Coronation Park yesterday.

Coach Darren Leaney said his Seahorses had made a scrappy beginning, but once the attack was straightened, the tries flowed sweetly.

“We got a bit carried away at the start and tried to push the ball too far sideways,” he said.

“The quickest way to the other end is to go straight ahead and once we got the direction right, everything came together.”

Still a long way short of his top squad, Leaney said the future selection process was clouded by the brilliant form of the current replacements.

“Ben Gorman came off the bench and scored three tries and Johnny Mitchell was also fantastic,” he said.

“The depth is there and as a coach, it's good to know you can call on a bloke to fill a role and have absolute faith he'll come through for you.”

Injuries, unavailability and a variety of other reasons meant the Roosters went into the game vastly under-strength.

“We had to pull reserve grade to pieces to put a last minute team together, so we were always on the back foot,” club official Max Jennings advised.

But Nambucca did have one ray of sunshine to report with a strong return made to the game by former brilliant junior, Jack Lhuede.

After three seasons in Sydney, the one-time team fullback even impressed rival coach Leaney in his comeback game.

“If they had a few more like him out there today they would have got closer,” he said.

For Woolgoolga, the tough run starts next Saturday night with Port Macquarie at Shark Park.

“There'll be no excuses for either club with Oxley Pioneers rep commitments a bit of a complication,” Leaney offered.

Port loses key ingredients Jeremy Lang and Joel Asher, while Woopi will miss Wade Gerhard and Sam McKecknie.

“It'll be a test of character for everybody but my boys are already excited and responding to the challenge,” the coach said.

“We'll play the footy, then we've organised a night with the Port boys that will get us back to the way country footy should be.

“A bit of business, then a bit of fun with your mates.”

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