Valleys crush Tannum Sands in one sided league trial match
VALLEYS fullback Rick Gibson experienced an amazing night out, crossing the tryline on eight occasions in his side's 86-8 A grade rugby league trial match victory over Tannum Sands at Marley Brown Oval on Sunday night.
The deceptively quick custodian put his pace to good use against an undermanned Seagulls outfit to post half of his side's 16 tries in a one-sided affair, mercifully cut short by timekeepers.
Winger Kris Smith, centre Luke Chapman and hooker Brad Lawson also got in on the try scoring feast, each posting doubles for the Diehards.
Tannum Sands started the game with 13 players but were already at a disadvantage with eight backing up from the reserve grade victory.
Matters were made worse for Seagulls coach Graham Appo when Luke Clow (concussion) and Jeff Twidale (knee) were forced out of the game with injury early in the piece.
Despite the severity of the scoreline, Appo was maintaining a positive outlook, praising the efforts of his players who backed up from the reserve grade encounter.
'I got to have a really good look at all the players (in all three grades),' Appo said. 'The poor old A grade guys had to battle hard but that builds character.
'The guys really stuck it out and finished the game which showed character.'
Appo said the impressive performances by the reserve grade and under-19 sides meant several players had put up their hands for A grade selection despite the expected return of several A grade contenders.
A grade: Valleys 86 (Rick Gibson 8, Kris Smith 2, Luke Chapman 2, Brad Lawson 2, Aaron Rush, unknown, tries, Neil Smith 6, Smith, Russell O'Dwyer, Sheldon Row Row, Lawson, Mick Richards goals) d Tannum Sands 8 (Matt Slaughter try, Chris Ownsworth 2 goals).
Reserve grade: Tannum Sands 40 (Kara Gardner 2, Kye Gallagher 2, Riley Cornwell, Dylan Castles, Jeff Twidale, Graham Brown, Keith Shailer tries, Cameron Kurtz 2 goals) d Valleys 10 (T. Neilson, unknown tries, Mark Chynoweth goal).
Under-19: Tannum Sands 29 (Chris Stanfield, Callum Wilson, Erran Braddick tries, Trent Minton 2 goals, field goal) d Valleys 12 (Dean Kafoa, Stuart Pengelly tries, Ian Oakhill 2 goals).