Bees brought to ground

DOWNED: The Tenterfield Bumblebees were beaten by the Iluka Cossacks on Saturday.
DOWNED: The Tenterfield Bumblebees were beaten by the Iluka Cossacks on Saturday.

The Tenterfield Bumblebees have had some mixed results in recent weeks. 

The Bees accounted for Murwillumbah for their round 15 President’s Cup match 33-17 after being behind on the scoreboard at half-time. 

“That was a really gutsy win away from home,” coach Phil Jones said. 

We were down against half-time against Murwillumbah but we ended up beating them 33-17 in the end. 

“It is a long way from home, they had a good side but we certainly played well against them.”

In their most recent round 16 game against the Iluka Cossacks, it was the opposite for the the Bees. 

The side led at the break but suffered a number of injuries and were eventually downed 31-22 in a controversial game. 

“We were leading at half-time,” Jones said. 

“They turned up with half of Lower Clarence. 

“The game wasn't played in good spirits. 

“It was very physical. 

“We lost a couple of key players in the game which cost us the game.”

The youth of the Tenterfield team played into the hands of Iluka. 

“The hardest thing when you have a young side is it is hard for them to counteract that real physical, dirty stuff,” Jones said. 

“You need a couple of old, hard heads in there that don't mind mixing it with them a bit. 

“Many of the penalties didn't go our way which probably should have and cost us a lot of possession.” 

Iluka are known to be tough at home but have struggled to field teams in their away matches all season. 

They sit outside a semi-finals spot but Jones believes they would otherwise be a threat to teams vying for the title. 

“Our boys played well enough, that Iluka side if they had that week-in, week-out, they would win the comp hands down,” he said. 

There are two rounds remaining in the Far North Coast competition.

This Saturday will see the Bees take on the second-placed Yamba Buccaneers.

Jones is expecting a full-strength Yamba team to make their way to Federation Park for the Bees’ Ladies’ Day and said his team have to improve their game. 

“It will be a hard game but we should be back to full-strength,” he said. 

“We had five out against Iluka, and they were probably five our our better players. This weekend is a crucial one for us. We can't get knocked out of the semis but Yamba will travel, they will be full-strength I reckon so it should be a big day at Federation. 

“It is Ladies' Day so we want all the women there, free champagne in the ladies' tent.”