Cannonballs bounce back to win all grades

Charge: Kempsey Cannonballs first grade player Tasi Afoa charges at the Wauchope Thunder defensive line. Photo: Penny Tamblyn.

Charge: Kempsey Cannonballs first grade player Tasi Afoa charges at the Wauchope Thunder defensive line. Photo: Penny Tamblyn.

The Kempsey Cannonballs bounced back from a disappointing start to their season to earn victories in both grades on Saturday against the Wauchope Thunder.

First grade coach Jared Fuller was most pleased with his side’s turnaround in defence, which allowed only one try in their 45-5 win.

“It was a much improved performance,” Fuller said.

“Our tackles were sticking but more importantly there was a lot of communication in defence.

“It was non-existent in our first game and we worked on it a lot at training so I am really happy with the improvement and to see it happen on the field.”

Fuller had praise for the side’s attack, which saw Owen Blair cross for three tries, on their way to a bonus point victory.

“I just wanted us to be patient, it is easy to get carried away and start pushing passes that aren’t the right option,” he said.

“There were some thrown that shouldn’t have been but overall it was a great attacking display.”

The Cannonballs applied immediate pressure to the Thunder and opened the scoring with the first play of the day with Blair proving too fast down the left sideline.

It was one way traffic as they took a 28-0 lead into the break.

The second half was scrappy but the result was never in doubt as the Cannonballs cruised to the victory.

Cannonballs backrow duo of Elliot Smith and Scott Witchard had a high workrate and received praise from Fuller.

“They both had really strong games and were getting involved in the thick of things, getting through a lot of work,” he said.

Meanwhile reserve grade held off the Thunder 32-8 for their second win in three games this season.

The Cannonballs absorbed the pressure for the opening 20-minutes of the match, holding the Thunder to a penalty goal.

Cannonballs line-out.

Cannonballs line-out.

Fullback Matt Scott found his way to the line in the Cannonballs first attacking opportunity.

The speedster capitalised on an overlap to cross for his second and give his side a 10-3 lead at the break.

Scott completed his hat-trick in the second half, as the Cannonballs raced away with the victory.

“It was a great day for the club, the U14s side got up too so every grade who played on the day won,” Fuller said.

The Cannonballs will face Grafton on Saturday at home and it is shaping up to be a tough meeting.

The Grafton team lost 17-10 against a strong Coffs Harbour side in first grade while their reserve grade side earned a comfortable 45-14 victory.

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