BACK IN FORM: Casuarina Beach player Rian Olivier taking the ball to the Ballina defence earlier in the season.
BACK IN FORM: Casuarina Beach player Rian Olivier taking the ball to the Ballina defence earlier in the season. Contributed

Barbarians hold on for gutsy win in Grafton

RUGBY UNION: Casuarina Beach are back to winning ways after converting a half-time lead into a narrow victory on the weekend.

Coming off two straight losses, the Barbarians were desperate to find their best form in their round-10 clash against Grafton.

Mitch Planten and Richard White were the heroes for Casuarina, each scoring two tries.

The Barbarians held a 19-5 lead at the break, and had a comfortable 33-12 lead with 20 minutes to go before discipline became a major problem.

The Barbarians were dealt six yellow cards, which resulted in a further two red cards, reducing them to 11 men to finish the game.

They were able to hold on for the 33-31 win, restoring their winning ways after falling to their first two defeats before the competition bye.

Barbarians coach Mick Hall said he believed most of the yellow cards were not warranted.

"The ref lost control of himself and the game,” Hall said.

"There was no fighting, it was just repeated infringements, so I think the ref just lost control.

"We need to improve our discipline but overall the boys were really good.

"It is a tough trip to Grafton so I am very happy with how they played.”

The victory means the Barbarians have moved into second on the competition table with 35 points.

The Barbarians have a week to get themselves ready for their round-11 clash with Casino, who are coming off a loss to Lennox Head.

Casuarina Beach 33 (Mitch Planten 2, Richard White 2, Webb Lillis tries; Webb Lillis 4 conversions) defeated Grafton 31 (Zac Mason-Gale 2, Jack Anderson, Kyle Hancock, Gus Wilson tries; Adam Smidt 3 conversions). Half-time: Casuarina 19-5.

Michael Doyle