Sport

Stewart, Brown take charge

Phil Stewart and Peter Brown.
Phil Stewart and Peter Brown. Gary Nichols

WHEN Phil Stewart and Peter Brown played for the Ghosts the 10m rule didn't exist and scrums were a contest.

Ice baths were nowhere to be seen and instead of downing a power drink after the match a case of VB was tossed into the middle of the change room to help ease the pain of battle.

Players wore loose-fitting jerseys, some with the collar tucked in, and a weight session comprised of players throwing teammates over their shoulders in a fireman's carry and sprinting the length of the field.

Now we have players so bulked up on weights, when they throw on their playing jumper they resemble a condom choc-full of walnuts.

The two former players have been appointed co-coaches of the Ghosts reserve grade this season and admit rugby league in the modern era has changed dramatically from when they took the field.

"The players have a lot more skill now. When we played it was basically all about fitness," Stewart said.

"Now it's all about drills, techniques, improving your ball skills and running lines.

"The furthest they've sprinted at training is 70m.

"They haven't sprinted 100m yet."

Brown agreed: "They make training a lot easier these days to keep the players happy. It's not boring.

"When we trained there was a lot of head-bashing."

In their playing days Stewart and Brown were hard-nosed forwards who witnessed plenty of illegalities when it came to packing down in the scrum.

"Back then you were allowed to push in the scrum. It was all about winning the ball," Stewart said.

"You used to hear the crunches of heads hitting together. Now they just pat each other and come in gentle."

Brown added: "The hooker had to sit on the prop's inside leg and you never gave the opposition the loosehead.

"If there wasn't any blood coming out of you, you weren't hitting them (opposition) hard enough."

Both coaches admit they're excited about their team's chances this year, and with a strong squad to choose from it could be a breakthrough year for the Ghosts' reserve grade side.

"Just selecting the 13 in reserve grade is going to be hard. But in saying that there's always injuries and players being called on to play first grade," Stewart said.

"I must admit we've got a better squad than last year, so we should go all right."

It's no secret the bane of reserve grade coaches is losing their key players to the top grade, something Brown says goes with the job.

"Our aim is to try to get as many players as possible to have a taste of first grade," he said.

"Because we have so many players, the hardest thing for us will be keeping them keen and happy."

Topics:  grafton ghosts, nrrrl, peter brown



Three people to be charged over murder of Sabrina Bremer

Flowers have been left at the tragic site of Sabrina Bremer's suspected homicide.

Two men and a woman have been arrested

8 free things to do in the Clarence

Scout Falls near Glenreagh.

A list of free things to do on a warm day.

Avoiding the hard road is holding us back

Taking the easy way might appease in the short term but those decisions always come back to bite later.

Reluctance to get past old decisions continues to hold us back

Latest deals and offers

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

The proof is in the harmonies

FINALISTS: Jacob Reynolds, Grace McDonald, Chloe Skinner and Mitch Reynolds are Living Proof.

Local band hope to win big at competition

Coming up on your TVs this September...

Don't miss A Place to Call Home as season four launches this September.

HERE'S a sneak peek at what's coming up on Foxtel.

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m