In without a doubt one of the best games of the 2016 season, Byron Bay defeated Wollongbar-Alstonville Pioneers Rugby Club in the Major Semi-final setting up Byron to play either Ballina or Wollongbar again in the Grand Final.
Byron Bay started on the back foot after losing winger Christian Rossi to the sin bin for 10 minutes. With a strong defensive effort from the Bay but the overlap was still there and eventually Byron suffered going down to a try early on and a successful penalty from Pioneers fly half Ben Damen. In a display that can only be described as Test Match quality, Byron Bay pulled the difference back to one after some dominant phase play saw Number 8 Jack Cooke crash over the line for Byrons revival. Halftime saw Wollongbar go into the second half with one point difference.
The second half was even more tense with a lot of back and forth between the two teams which saw tries from fan favourite Josh Smith crashing over the line using his strength to beat the Wollongbar defence.
Byron Bay players Will Aisake and Sean Nicholl had stand out performances with Nicholl scoring two fantastic tries, breaking through the Wollongbar defence and using his speed and power to dive over the line.
2 second half tries saw consolation for the Pioneers, however Byron Bay Rugby were 4 tries to 3 victors; 26-21
Byron Bay now head to the Crozier Field, Lismore to face the undecided winner of the preliminary final, Saturday 10th September at 2:45pm. Contact www.byronbayrugby.com.au or visit the Facebook page to book your seat on the supporters shuttle.
TRY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SEMI-FINAL HERE