Derby spirit kicks in

Ghosts' Timothy Tilse tries to storm through the Magpies pack earlier this year at Maclean Showground.
Ghosts' Timothy Tilse tries to storm through the Magpies pack earlier this year at Maclean Showground. Debrah Novak

THE Clarence River derby between NRRRL teams the Grafton Ghosts and Lower Clarence Magpies is set to ignite Frank McGuren Park on Sunday.

Both teams are coming off convincing wins and will be looking to finish the regular season on a high.

Ghosts' skipper Ryan Farrell has his team preparing for finals footy, while Magpies coach Grant Brown is hoping to build club momentum looking to next year.

"It should be a real good match. Hopefully they will turn up and really rip into us. That's what we need heading into the finals," Farrell said.

"They should have a bit of confidence after beating Casino last week and they always step up a notch when they play us. It's a good rivalry."

Brown is hoping his Magpies can do just that and says his outfit will be unchanged from the line-up that downed Casino 34-20 last weekend.

"It's the same side we've been building on for the last five or six weeks and we are starting to get some really good combinations happening around the ruck," Brown said.

With the Ghosts sitting second on the NRRRL ladder and the Magpies stuck at the bottom of the table, both coaches could be forgiven for thinking the result was almost a foregone conclusion.

But such is the rivalry that has been generated between the two teams in recent years neither is taking Sunday's result for granted.

"If we can shut down their halves and blokes like Ryan Farrell and contain Aaron Hartmann off the edges, then I feel we have enough points in us to be a threat to the Ghosts for sure," Brown said.

"We have been saying for the last few weeks that we want to carry some momentum into next season and it would be a huge boost for us to topple the Ghosts in our last match of the year."

The Ghosts are also likely to field a similar line-up to the one that buried the Kyogle Turkeys 64-10 last week.

With no under-18 game, the reserve grade kick-off is at 1pm and the first graders will take the paddock at 2.15pm.

Topics:  frank mcguren park, grafton ghosts, lower clarence magpies, nrrrl, rugby league



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