Rebels will play finals for the first time since 2013

ALL SKILL: Five-eighth Troy Doughty has been a key recruit for the Bangalow Rebels in Far North Coast rugby union this season. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus.
ALL SKILL: Five-eighth Troy Doughty has been a key recruit for the Bangalow Rebels in Far North Coast rugby union this season. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus.

BANGALOW is set to play semi-finals for the first time since they joined the top grade of Far North Coast rugby union in 2013.

The Rebels decided it was time to field two teams and moved away from the Village Competition which is mainly played between smaller one-team towns.

A win over Ballina on Saturday could see them finish in the top two where they would play defending premiers Lennox Head in the major semi-final next month.

Bangalow has been a slow burn over the past few years with new coach Ross Larsson putting together a formidable side in 2021.

He said the best was still to come in the later rounds for his side and they come into this weekend having scored 100 points against Lismore City a fortnight ago.

"I don't think our forward pack has reached it's full potential yet and I'm pretty confident they'll step up from here," Larsson said.

"There is enough skill in there and some of them are really underrated, too."

Forwards Darcy Hilton and Liam Mustchin have returned from injuries in recent weeks while centre Michael Thomas has added more depth to the backline.

The Rebels also have flanker Luke Papworth, halfback Vinnie Quigley and five-eighth Troy Doughty who have all played at a higher level.

Doughty is also captain and helps coach the side.

Bangalow still has club stalwarts Jock Craigie and Neil Moran running around while they also recruited lock Ed McGrath from Grafton this year.

With a well-rounded side it all points to them being able to give it a red-hot crack for the title next month.

Meanwhile, the four teams who will be playing finals has now been decided after Wollongbar-Alstonville thumped fifth-placed Casuarina 57-19 on the weekend.

It means Ballina drops to fourth while Wollongbar-Alstonville still has a chance of a top two finish with two rounds to go.

Ladder

Lennox Head 41

Bangalow 37

Wollongbar-Alstonville 33

Ballina 33

Casuarina 24

Lismore 11

Casino 6