by Mitchell Craig
BALLINA has now beaten every team in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season after thumping Marist Brothers 34-4 at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, yesterday.
It may have been a top-of-the- table clash but Brothers never looked like threatening the competition leaders, who were clinical around the park.
Leading 10-0 after a try to second-rower Anthony Colman and back-to-back penalty goals to hooker Andrew Battese, halfback Jess Perry soon came up with one of the big plays of the game.
He managed to wrap up Rams fullback David Jacky from a kick return and also pulled off a one-on-one strip in the process, which gave the Seagulls even better field position.
The Seagulls look to have all the pieces of the puzzle in place with teenage five-eighth Kel Sheather having a big game and fullback Oliver Regan also going well.
Brothers were doing well to hang on in defence and it looked like they would keep Ballina out before front-rower Kelly Sironen crashed down next to the posts to give them a 16-0 lead at half-time.
Nothing Brothers tried seem to work with five-eighth Te Ate Jackson starting from the bench and front-rower Darryl Butcher back in the starting side after a stint in reserve grade.
It got to 20-0 before the Rams finally had something to cheer about when winger Beau Gibson scored out wide.
Replacement halfback Wally Kelly tried his best to spark the side and looked the most likely but even he found himself getting dragged into touch when he ran the ball.
Meanwhile, everything Ballina tried seemed to work and the Seagulls got to 30-4 when a ball bounced up perfectly into the arms of lock Michael Dwane to score.
The Rams struggled just to get out of their own half while Ballina centre Michael Thomas was having a field day down his side.
Centre partner Roger Bartholomew also had plenty of success and scored the final try of the game.
Elsewhere, Casino beat Evans Head 34-10 at Casino on Saturday, and Cudgen beat Murwillumbah 22-12 at Murwillumbah.
Scores from other games were not available at The Northern Star's deadline.