From the rucks

SOME people just can't help taking their work home with them.

Rob Brown is one of the most passionate players ever to have played for the Redmen, or in the Far North Coast competition for that matter, playing his heart out on the field every Saturday.

Once again, he had to switch roles in an instant from hard-running and hard-tackling back rower to cool-headed ambulance man on Saturday when Grafton winger Tom Gerrard suffered a bad knee injury early in the first half.

As he has done so many times, Brown took control, stabilised the injury and saw his mate off, before switching back into playing mode, being clearly Grafton's best on the day and voted players' player.

How he does that without affecting his game is beyond me, but he's been doing it for years.

A lot of players, both Grafton and opposition, can be thankful that he doesn't leave his work at work.

TREATMENT of match officials has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the past few days.

Thankfully, or perhaps luckily, rugby has been immune to date of such extreme acts, but we mustn't get complacent.

I thought that some of the comments from the sideline on Saturday, from both sets of supporters, was bordering on the unacceptable at times.

It was an ordinary day to be a referee or linesman, cold and wet and conditions that are the referee's worst nightmare, making the game a maul-a-thon and a scrap.

In the end, each game was decided by the best team rather than any official's decision.

Let's all remember that it easy to see everything from the comfort of a warm and dry clubhouse, or at least just the things that you choose to see.

BALLINA obviously laid down the gauntlet to the rest of the competition with a powerful performance from their pack, they are the team to beat.

I thought that there was little in the game, Grafton's discipline crucially letting them down a few times, costing a valuable three points on the stroke of half time and twice needlessly costing great attacking opportunities.

THE competition is now wide open, Saturday's results serving to compress the competition table, especially with Lismore's continued winning run.

Casino dropped from fourth to sixth place without even playing last week, and now are in a situation where they must win at home to Yamba, who are equally keen to get their season back on track after a couple of losses.

Ballina, now just a point out of the four, host co-leaders Wollongbar and based on what we saw last week, should get away with this one. An improving Lennox Head host Tweed.

Grafton have another big game against Lismore at Lismore.

Competition table

Played Pts

Grafton 8 34 Wollongbar 9 34 Yamba 9 30 Lismore 9 26 Ballina 9 25 Casino 8 23 University 10 19 Tweed 9 7 Lennox Head 9 1

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