Sport

Cupples has full squad for Ghosts

Grafton Ghosts’ Dan Roberts breaks through Byron Bay’s defence last month.
Grafton Ghosts’ Dan Roberts breaks through Byron Bay’s defence last month. DEBRAH NOVAK

BYRON Bay first grade coach Tobin Cupples admits he's been nursing a major headache all week.

For most coaches, taking on the defending NRRRL premiers in a qualifying final on their home soil is a daunting prospect, but Cupples' dilemma this week has been more about which 17 players will take the field.

"It looks like we'll be at full strength for the first time this season, so I've had a headache all week selecting a side for Sunday's game," Cupples told the Examiner yesterday.

"The Ghosts are a very good side and have dangerous players right across the park, but in saying that so do we."

And with Penrith Panthers' 2003 NRL grand final hero Scott Sattler calling the shots and a bench containing at least three big boppers, the Red Devils are right in this game.

"We have a lot of depth at the club and on the bench we have three big guys to give us plenty of grunt up front," Cupples said.

"Scott will most likely pack down in the second-row. Even though he's 40 years old he's extremely fit.

"He also adds a touch of professionalism to the side."

The Ghosts will no doubt be relying on the experienced duo of captain Ryan Farrell and back-rower Aaron Hartmann to get them across the line, but questions remain if their engine room can match it with a Red Devils pack boasting plenty of size and aggression.

Front-rower Dave Emmott is in extreme doubt, but the Ghosts welcome the return of damaging winger Dan Lollback and "Mr Fix It" Dan Roberts.

"Dave is under an injury cloud at the moment but Dan Lollback and Dan Roberts are both back," Farrell said.

"Jake Lennon will start at five-eighth, with Dan Roberts going into lock.

"We kept Jake in the side because of his kicking game and to be honest he's been playing some good footy."

When asked about his side's ability to contain the Red Devils' imposing pack of forwards, the Ghosts' captain was confident his side could repel whatever the opposition dished out.

"I have no concerns up front and I believe we have the game plan to get the job done as long as we stick to it," he said.

"I know they have a few big guys but we just have to rip in and put them on the deck."

Topics:  devils, ghosts, nrrrrl


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