Desperate visitors play Redmen in their ?grand final
By DAVE MORRISON
WITH the race for the Coopers Far North Coast Rugby semi-finals hotting up, the Mighty River Redmen face another tough challenge today when they host the dangerous Lismore City at South Grafton.
Lismore are precariously placed in sixth position, just a drawn result away from fourth, but with two sides placed ahead of them and just five rounds to go, they will face an almost impossible task if they lose today.
Hence, it will be a virtual grand final for the Greens.
For Grafton, the task to make the semis is all but sealed, but they will be focussed on maintaining their minor premiership aspirations, and with it, the right to host the major semi-final.
They too are under pressure, with a tricky draw in the home run to the semis and with Yamba and Wollongbar breathing down their neck.
It all points to a tremendous game.
Lismore have probably the fastest backline in the competition while the Grafton back defence, led by centres Jon Chevalley and Shane Denshire, is the best around.
It makes for a fascinating confrontation in the middle of the park, and one that will most likely determine the outcome.
The Redmen have been travelling well of late, some hard-fought wins preceding a rousing display last week against Tweed, where they shook the cobwebs off their attacking game for a 50-point win.
Even allowing for a slightly disappointing opposition, it was an impressive effort from the Redmen.
Up front, they were strong in the set pieces and were quick to the breakdown.
Lismore will pose plenty of challenges.
A speedy backline is more than complemented by a very capable forward pack that traditionally competes very well at the break down.
Form suggests that Grafton, on the basis of their tight win over the Greens at Lismore three weeks ago, have the slight edge, especially in front of their home crowd.
A big crowd is expected for three grades between these traditional rivals, commencing at 12.30pm.