A TREMENDOUS crowd witnessed a thrilling game of rugby last Saturday for the Redmen-Buccaneers' local derby.

Like most local derbies, it wasn't always the prettiest, but both sides threw themselves right into the contest and the defence from both sides was excellent.

It was one of the biggest crowds seen at a local rugby match, for competition rounds at least, and the rematch at Yamba in the last competition round promises to be sensational.

nALL the excitement must have got too much for one spectator though.

A comment, recounted by one of the touch judges after the game, went something like this.

On blowing his whistle for an offside in general play following a kick, referee Greg Whittle said "What'll it be Grafton, a scrum here, or a kick back."

One spectator, completely serious and perhaps not overly enthused with the way the game was going, was heard to ask "what's with this referee? -he doesn't even know the rules ? he has to ask the players what he should do."

Good to see that the referees can always count on plenty of help.

nA HIGHLIGHT of the day was the Under-10s game immediately before the main game.

To see the pride swelling on the chests of these young players as they ran onto the field in front of the big crowd, through cheering tunnels of players from the previous third grade game, was worth the price of admission alone.

nJUNIOR players have the opportunity to further their skills at the upcoming FNCRU Development Camp, to be held at St John's College, Woodlawn, on 1-2 July.

The cost is just $110 with more details available from Dave Schmude on 0418436267.

nIT'S not too late to get your tickets to the Annual Ruck 'n' Ball, to be held this Saturday night at the GDSC, Mary Street.

At $40, with drinks, two-course dinner and entertainment included, it's a bargain and all profits go to Grafton Palliative Care.

Tickets won't be available at the door, but can be purchased until Friday from the club.

nTHE race for semi-final position has hotted up in the last couple of weeks with just 8 points, or two wins, separating second-placed Yamba from an improving sixth-placed Ballina, so results over the next couple of weeks will be critical.

The Mighty River Redmen are now nine points clear at the top of the table, but now know that they have plenty of work to do between now and September.

They have the bye this week.

Yamba should consolidate second with an easy win over Lennox.

University are getting close to must win status and will be looking to upset another on the improve, Lismore, but the Greens should win.

Ballina, now with most of their premiership winning personnel back on deck, face a big test against the unheralded Casino in the match of the round.

And Wollongbar, after two heavy defeats against Grafton and Casino, will have to be right on their mettle to defeat a Tweed side that will surely claim at least on big scalp this year.

Competition Table

after Round 8









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