From the Rucks
A HUGE and successful Country Under-14 and -15 titles last weekend was highlighted by the local Far North Coast side's victory in the 14s.
Far North Coast have never made a final in any age group at these championships, so to to go through undefeated and win was a great effort, and one that surprised many of the traditional powerhouses of junior rugby.
Their 10-0 win over Hunter in the final capped off a fine attacking performance throughout the weekend, with their backs dominant throughout.
The 15s performed well too, finishing fifth and proving to be very competitive against bigger sides.
The success of the Far North Coast sides shows how far junior rugby has come in this area.
It is going from strength to strength with numbers ever increasing.
THE carnival was a real test of the Redmen's improved facilities and they stood up with flying colours.
A huge thank you must go to all the helpers and the Junior Redmen Committee who put in three massive days of work to keep the 500-plus crowd fed and the competition running smoothly.
THE facilities proved to be so good that you must now start to question whether Grafton are losing their home ground advantage.
The rock-hard surface that visiting teams used to dread has gone following the installation of an irrigation system year. Beer tent corner, once the home of a parochial home crowd that got the Redmen home in many tight games, has been replaced by a comfortable clubhouse.
Cold showers have been replaced by new amenities.
Have we made it too comfortable for visiting teams? Does our crowd have to relaim that bottom corner?
I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts.
nAND while on the facilities, a big thank you to the Clarence Valley Council and their parks and gardens staff.
The ground has never looked better and the boys have really helped out over the past 12 months or so.
The Redmen have no problem with the ground hire fees as we do get back far more than we pay, it's just a matter of everyone paying the same.
nON to this weekend's round in the Coopers Far north Coast Rugby Union.
Casino at home to a Lismore side that's finally starting to win and I'll tip the greens in an upset.
University face the undefeated Wollongbar and although at Uni, the Pioneers must be taken seriously and should win.
Yamba might find the trip to Tweed tougher than their respective places on the table suggests and will need to treat the Baa Baas with respect, but form points to the Buccaneers.
The Mighty River Redmen travel to Lennox Head where the willing Trojans will try hard, but look to be outclassed.