Clarence teens come up big on Titans debut
RUGBY LEAGUE :Our Clarence rugby league stars were among the key influencers during Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup clashes over the weekend.
Taking the field with the Northern Rivers Titans for their first game this season, Clarence Coast Magpies’ Michael Hughes and Nicholas Torrens joined South Grafton Rebel Jamal Laurie in the starting line-up against the Newcastle Knights.
The Clarence trio made its presence felt for the Titans, with Torrens and Hughes pressing forward before Laurie lit up to score in the eighth minute and help his side to a hard fought 28-22 win.
Recently announced Grafton Ghosts under-16 coach Shaun Davison was next up as he led the under-18 Laurie Daley side to a mammoth 54-16 win over Newcastle.
Davison’s side was absent of any Clarence talent but his gamble in playing what was predominantly the under-16 squad that won last year’s Andrew Johns Cup final paid off big time.
The skilful side cut through the opposition like a hot knife through butter, working the ball with precision to make a real statement in their opening encounter.
Jaylan De Groot was a walking highlight reel for the afternoon, scoring four of the Titans’ nine tries.
The North Coast Bulldogs ventured down to Sydney to face the Parramatta Eels in their first away game of the season and despite a 24-14 loss in the under-16s match, the under-18s put on a show.
Ghosts star Elliot Speed was ever present again as he helped guide his side back from a slow start to claim a convincing 32-12 win at McCredie Park on Saturday.
Speed adding the spark early in the second half with a silky kick against the grain to put Malakhi Donovan through to score en route to four from six conversions for the afternoon.
The Titans will head south to take on the Central Coast Roosters with a good chance to go two from two this weekend, while the Bulldogs travel to Port Macquarie to open proceedings ahead of a huge Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders NRL trial match at Port Macquarie Regional Stadium on Saturday.