ALL three grades of the Grafton Ghosts will travel to Stan Sercombe Oval at Murwillumbah this weekend to fight for spots in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League grand finals.
The Murwillumbah Mustangs are one of only three sides to have beaten the Ghosts this year, taking out their last encounter 20-14, a fact that hasn't dampened Ghosts captain and halfback Ryan Farrell's hopes of an upset victory.
"We're feeling confident, and I think we have a right to be. We have been playing some good footy and we've beaten some good sides in the last few weeks, so we are feeling pretty good," said Farrell of his side's preparation.
The winner of this semi-final goes straight into the grand final, held in two weeks, while the loser has to play in a preliminary final against the winner of the weekend's other clash between Ballina and Byron Bay.
Farrell was adamant his side was vastly improved since the two teams last met in round nine, and their preparation and mindset was far better than last time.
"We've had a better run in this time, against tougher teams."
"Every team we played before them (Murwillumbah) last time, we beat by 40-odd, so it was hard to prepare for such a good side. It'll be different this weekend though," said Farrell.
According to Farrell, the game will be decided in the battle between two forward packs bursting with size, speed and skill, and Farrell was confident if his big men could lay a platform, the Ghosts would be able to win the game with their scintillating backline.
"They've got a really good forward pack, so we'll have to be really committed in the centre or they'll go over the top of us. Hopefully the boys can get in there and get us on the front foot and we should do alright."
Sam Hartmann drops out of the Ghosts' squad due to injury, but will be replaced by Khan Williams, making his long-awaited return at just the right time of the year.
Stan Sercombe Oval will resemble Frank McGuren Park, with three Grafton teams playing in semis and a bus load of supporters on hand to cheer them on.
1. Mitch Lollback
2. Joel Moss
3. Khan Williams
4. Aaron Taylor
5. Dan Lollback
6. Jake Lennon
7. Ryan Farrell
8. Mitchell Wicks
9. Rhys Walters
10. Dave Emmott
11. Ryan Danvers
12. Aaron Hartmann
13. Ben McLennan
14. Dan Roberts
15. Tim Tilse
16. Josh Donohoe
17. Sam Lennon