The Tenterfield Bumblebees bounced back from a first-half deficit to claim their second win in Far North Coast rugby’s President’s Cup on Saturday.
Penalties hampered the Bees’ performance in the opening stages of the game against Murwillumbah with the score at the break in favour of the hosts 7-6.
Coach Phil Jones said the Bees re-grouped at half-time to hit back and win 18-7.
“I think we were still on the bus in that first half, we gave away a lot of penalties,” he said.
“They had all possession and we had none.
“In the second half, once we went back to our game plan and got a bit more discipline in, we were the far better side.
“In that first half, I don't know what the penalty count was but it was probably five times more against us.”
While the penalty count was less-than-impressive, Jones was elated with his side’s defence.
“Scrums, line-outs and defence in our backline was very strong again so that is a real positive,” he said.
“We have only had seven points scored against us in three games so defence has been rock solid which is good.
“The backs are defending really well.”
Jones highlighted the performance of a handful of players including one debutante.
“Jason Murphy, it was his first game of rugby, scored a really good try and was really solid in defence,” he said.
“Simon Lee had a very strong game at breakaway.
“Murray Johnson again played well.”
The Bumblebees have the bye this weekend before they gear up to take on Yamba.
Jones said his side are close to full-strength with only a handful of minor injuries.
“There are a few little niggling injuries, nothing major that a fortnight won't help. Some of the boys haven't played a lot of footy in the last couple of years so they are starting to feel the pinch a bit,” he said.
“We will train hard over the next two weeks and get those injuries right. We should be full-strength against Yamba. We had three of our better players out last weekend due to work committments but you put those back in there and it will be a stronger side I think.”
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