Bay Watch: Carney runs out for Red Devils
ALL eyes were on Todd Carney when Byron Bay belted Evans Head 42-10 in Ladbrokes Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Byron Bay on Saturday.
The former NRL star delivered with some slick ball work and a strong kicking game in his first appearance as captain-coach, with the Red Devils running in eight tries.
The home side had plenty to cheer about with fullback Mitchell Krause running in a hat-trick, while new recruits Kyle Kennedy and Dylan Montgomery proved difficult to contain in the front row.
Krause scored his third to give the Red Devils a 34-4 lead in the second half while a Montgomery bust up the middle of the field put centre Dan Gibson over in the corner soon after.
Centre Brad Lees has returned to the club while young wingers Gabriel Belcher and Connor Wilson finished the game with tries.
Evans Head were in it early with fullback Aaron Scells scoring a try out wide to make it 6-4 after 16 minutes.
However, they had to wait until the 76th minute and 42-4 down before hooker Nathan Walmsley scored another try against the run of play from a Krause knock-on.
"To let in only one try in each half is the most pleasing thing,” Carney said.
"We definitely have a lot of points in us but we showed out there today we can defend well.
"That's the mentality and effort we'll need against the top teams.”
The Bombers should get better as the season goes on with the likes of front-rower Les Roberts and second-rower Simon Perkins leading the way in a younger side.
Byron Bay hooker Andrew Battese picked it up a gear late in the game after a cut to his face late in the first half while Wilson dislocated his finger in the final minutes.
The Red Devils will get a better chance to gauge where they're at when they take on the defending premiers Tweed Coast on Saturday.
"Win or lose, we'll take positives and negatives out of whatever happens next week but it won't define our season,” Carney said.
"We just need to keep building as a club and to have every grade get up at home today was a good start.”
In other games:
Former NRL star Jamie Lyon was among the try-scorers for Ballina in a 24-16 win over Casino at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
Tweed Coast beat Marist Brothers 22-4 at Crozier Field, Lismore.
Northern United had a 32-18 win over Cudgen at Kingscliff.
Kyogle defeated Mullumbimby 32-14 at New Park, Kyogle.
BYRON BAY 42 (M Krause 3, K Roberts-Laurie, D Montgomery, D Gibson C Wilson, G Belcher; T Carney 5 goals) d EVANS HEAD 10 (A Scells, N Walmsley tries; N Walmsley goal).