The Kempsey Cannonballs showed the rest of the Upper Mid North Coast Rugby Union competition what they’re capable of in their 46-21 victory against the defending premiers the Southern Cross University Marlins on Saturday.
The convincing victory was built on the back of a dominant start to the contest, which saw the Cannonballs race out to a 21-0 lead inside the opening 20-minutes.
Braden Farrawell, Kini Dauvucu and Mark Glover crossed for consecutive tries with Kempsey making the most of their opportunities.
However, the momentum swung in the final 10-minutes of the first half.
Kempsey conceded consecutive penalties and had a man sent to the sin bin.
The Marlins took advantage of the extra man on the field and dove over for two late tries to reduce the deficit to 24-14 at the break.
The Cannonballs were able to regain the possession advantage to start the second half and they reestablished their lead.
Outisde centre Dauvucu showed off his footwork and speed to grab two more tries while five-eighth Heath Lancaster kept the scoreboard ticking over through penalty goals.
“It was a big club effort with a number of players unavailable with injury,” Cannonballs coach Carl Thurgood said.
“We had a few players step up from reggies and the Under-18s.
“It was a deserved win for the guys after a tough season.”
The flying Fijian Dauvucu was dominant in attack and defence throughout the contest and was rewarded with the player’s player honour.
Unfortunately for the Cannonballs, this performance has come to late in the season as they’re out of calculations for the finals series.
The side suffered a number of narrow losses throughout the season and they have proven costly.
The victory lifts the Cannonballs above the Marlins on the competition table, as they hold a better points differential.
The Cannonballs have plenty to play for over the final two rounds of the regular season as they host their Ladies Day this Saturday when they face off with the Coffs Harbour Snappers.
Coffs Harbour will head into the match fresh as they had the bye on the weekend.
The Snappers sit in third position on the competition table and will be a tough side to beat.
The Cannonballs will raise money for Kempsey Early Connections on the day.
In the final regular season game, the Kempsey Cannonballs travel to Wauchope to face off with the winless Thunder, a side they rewrote history against with a 100-3 win earlier this season.
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