RARE SIGHT: Ken Mercy contained by the defence against Casino. It didn?t happen very often.
RARE SIGHT: Ken Mercy contained by the defence against Casino. It didn?t happen very often.

Coaches patch up some frail defence

By TONY WHITE

SOUTH Grafton captaincoach Stevie Kirby has centred his team's preparation around league legend Jack Gibson's coaching manual for tonight's local derby against Lower Clarence at McKittrick Park.

Defence will be the key to the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League round two clash.

Last week the Rebels defence against Casino was paper thin despite the team winning 46-42.

"This week we've concentrated on fitness with a lot of defensive drills," Kirby said.

"We need to add some discipline and better structure. We must lift our urgency when defending."

Lower Clarence too have worked hard after their first-up 30-16 loss against Grafton Ghosts.

"Our defence wasn't up to scratch last week and South Grafton have some big men in the pack and we'll have to stop them," captain-coach Jason Hebbard said.

Ken Laurie comes in for the Rebels at fullback, Walter Donnelly to centre and Scott Laurie will play second-row.

Laurie, a noted defender, formerly played in the Central Coast competition.

Half Dallas Waters is out for three weeks with a shoulder injury and Brendan Hardy has been rested with a calf muscle problem.

Sam Woods comes in at half for the Magpies with with Jason Wilkinson switching to five-eighth.

Hebbard expects former Rebel Terry Power to have a big game against his old club.

SOUTH GRAFTON: Fullback, Ken Laurie; wingers, David Purcell, Wes Roberts; centres, Walter Donnelly, Ken Mercy; five-eighth, Ray Mercy; halfback, Andy Bell; props, Xavier Sullivan, Nathan Kelly; hooker, Stevie Kirby (c); second-row, Brad Lloyd, Scott Laurie; lock, Colby Shraeder; reserve, Dennis Carriage. Coach: Stevie Kirby.

LOWER CLARENCE: Fullback, Luke Many; wingers, Jake Thornton, Mike Laurie; centres, Darren Blackett, Aaron Murry; five-eighth; Jason Wilkinson; halfback, Sam Woods; props, Mick Harris, Brett Smidt; hooker, Chris Brophy; second-row, Terry Power, Jason Hebbard (c); lock, Tom Freebody; reserve, Luke Matherson. Coach: Jason Hebbard.



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