Roosters rule the Group 2 Junior League roost
NAMBUCCA HEADS are the new kings of Group 2 junior rugby league after winning the Under 16 grand final at BCU International Stadium on Saturday.
It's the fourth-straight year these clubs have faced each other in the age decider.
Nambucca were on the scoreboard in the fifth minute when the Dragons mishandled the ball on their line and lightly-framed Nambucca second-rower Scott Johnson scooped up possession to roll into the in-goal for the opening try.
Stunned into action, Kempsey began charging their big men in relays at the Nambucca line and were rewarded when big prop forward Misamoa Tavete claimed the equaliser.
But the Roosters lifted another gear.
Exciting fullback Kyle Cohen caused awful problems to Kempsey whenever he entered the backline and with lock forward Alex Hull making clever inroads to create field position, Nambucca gradually asserted their superiority.
Kempsey ball-runners often lacked support and their discipline fell away dramatically after the break, allowing the Roosters a series of piggy-back penalties down to their red zone.
Alex Hull was the stand-out player in the game and he'll be facing a unique dilemma in the off-season.
The son of former premiership-winning forward Peter Hull has to decide if he'll remain with the team when they graduate to seniors or continue his career with Bellingen where he's already a fixture in their Under-18 squad.
It is believed the Magpies are keen to give the youngster opportunities in first grade as a means to getting his ability noticed by the right people.
Nambucca Heads Roosters 38 (Jayden Auston 2, Scott Johnson, Kyle Cohen, Alex Hull, Louie Taylor, Charlie Gray tries; Hull 3, Cohen, Brandon Davis-King goals) def Kempsey Dragons 10 (Misamoa Tavete, Kemp London tries; Dempsey Kelly goal).
Scrums: Kempsey 10-8.
Penalties: Nambucca 7-4.
Errors: Kempsey 9, Nambucca 6.
Best Players: Alex Hull, Kyle Cohen, Scott Johnson (Nambucca). Dempsey Kelly, Thomas Stevenson, Lincoln Callaghan (Kempsey).
Bowraville Tigers 34 (Braden Fitzgerald 3, Jimi Cutmore 2, Dylan Hoskins tries; Fitzgerald 4, Steven Lewis goals) def Sawtell Panthers 22 (Matt Mulrooney 2, Wade O'Malley, Shelton Hunia-King tries; Toby Woods 2, Mulrooney goals).
Kempsey Dragons 26 (Paul Davis 2, Michael McPhillips, Alex Colquhoun, Brayden Johnson tries; Davis 3 goals) def Coffs Harbour Comets 16 (Jerome Smith, Adrian Haskins, Hayden Dowdy tries; Brandon Lee 2 goals).
Kempsey Dragons 50 (Robbie Fernando 5, Ronald Sines 2, Elwyn Roberts, Nick Miller tries; Darren Holten 3, Jack Hayes, Chris Walker goals) def Sawtell Panthers 18 (Liam McGrady 2, Zac Maynard, Justin Stelter tries; Rhys Johnston goal).
Bowraville Tigers 34 (Ben Suckling 2, Kade Spear 2, Jesse Allan, Billy Hennessy tries; Dillon Stuart, Lachlan Quinlan, Allan, Hennessy, Suckling goals) def Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies 6 (Dylan Edwards try and goal).
Bowraville Tigers Black 18 (Caleb Handley, Marika Kelly, Jye Perkins tries; Josh Bartlett, Handley, Perkins goals) def Orara Valley Tomahawks Green 8 (Michael 'Buddy' Hart try; Liam Dunn, Hart goals).
Sawtell Panthers 24 (Jedd Mitchell 2, Jack Conlan 2, Tom Sanders tries; Tyson Hoffman, Mitchell goals) def Smithtown Tigers 0.