Casino, Kyogle head for first NRRRL semis clashes in years
CASINO and Kyogle are certain to play semi-finals next month with the top five in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition decided at the weekend.
It will be the first time in a number of years that either side has made it past the competition rounds.
The Turkeys' 34-10 win over Marist Brothers on Sunday was the final nail in the coffin for the Rams' season.
It also set up an eight-point buffer between fifth and sixth on the ladder with three rounds remaining.
Ballina, Byron Bay and Murwillumbah will also be part of the finals series.
Brothers miss out for the first time since 2011, while Grafton Ghosts leaving the NRRRL for Group 2, also created a spot.
The minor premiership is likely to go down to the wire when Murwillumbah hosts Kyogle in the final round on August 17. Just 14 points in the for- and-against is all that currently separates the two sides.
However, Ballina is one-point behind in second and has a favourable run home with games against teams they have already beaten this year.
The Seagulls also won the premiership last year after finishing the competition rounds in second place.
Byron Bay captain-coach Ryan O'Connell believes his side needs to finish in the top three to be a serious threat in the finals.
They would need to beat Kyogle at home on Sunday and rely on other results to leapfrog Ballina into third.
Casino hosts Byron Bay in the final round with the teams likely to play again the following week in the sudden-death elimination final.
Meanwhile, Murwillumbah will definitely finish as minor premiers in reserve grade with an eight-point gap between the Mustangs and second-placed Kyogle.
The Mustangs are also two points clear of Kyogle on top of the ladder in the under-18s competition.
FIRST GRADE LADDER
- Murwillumbah 25
- Kyogle 25
- Ballina 24
- Byron Bay 22
- Casino 20
- Marist Brothers 12
- Northern United 10
- Mullumbimby 8
- Evans Head 4
- Lower Clarence 0