The Gentlemen of Murwillumbah ‘Bananas’ were electric in their Nicky Moore Charity game against the Yamba Buccaneers on Saturday, July 15, raising more than $6,000 for Tweed Palliative Support and Wedgetail Retreat.
Donning bright pink jerseys donated by Shoobridge Transport and Varella & Swift Pharmacy the Bananas commemorated their former committee member and biggest supporter, Nicky Moore, who passed away recently after losing her fight against cancer.
The team started the game strongly as they generally do, against a Yamba side who are a respected and typically very strong opponent regardless of whether they play at home or away.
A hard-hitting and fast-paced game of rugby delighted the watching crowd, with both teams giving everything they had.
Neither side gave any quarter during an intense game of rugby. Yamba opened the scoring with a try early on in the first half but the Bananas responded not long after, with a try to ‘Silver Fern’ Graham Dodge who went into contact close to the line and broke through three defenders to force his way to the line. The score was 7 – 5 in favour of the Bananas.
The game moved on into the second half with no further points from either team. As the game progressed neither side was able to break past their opposition’s defence.
Penalties became more common as frustration mounted. The Bananas took the opportunity to kick several goals, followed shortly after by a brilliant try to fullback Will Warren.
Warren combined with centre Kyle Hallard to create a opening in the defence and backed him up to receive an offload, scoring out wide.
In the dying minutes the penalties came almost one after the other against the home side as they courageously defended their line against a sustained attack from Yamba.
Their defence held firm, however two yellow cards saw both wingers Graham Dodge and Andrew Lack sent from the field in the most pivotal moment of the game.
Yamba was also down players due to injuries but took the opportunity given by repeated penalties against the home side, scoring out wide to close the gap.
Much to the relief of the Bananas and their supporters the Yamba side were unable to convert their try, resulting in the pink-clad home side sealing the win at 18-17.
The pink jerseys worn by the Gentlemen of Murwillumbah ‘Bananas’ were auctioned off in a charity night post-game and successfully raised well over $5,000 for the Tweed Palliative Support and Wedgetail retreat.
The Bananas next home game is the final game of the regular season. It will be held under lights at 1 Dorothy Street, Murwillumbah (Bill Carrol Oval aka “Banana Park”). Kick-off at 5.30pm August 19 against Kyogle Cockatoos.