FROM THE RUCKS
By DAVE MORRISON
LOCAL Rugby takes a break for Easter but it's been an excellent start for the locals so far.
I thought that the Mighty River Redmen's first 40 minutes last week was just about as good as you could expect and they certainly gave the large crowd lots to cheer about.
They also gave the vaunted University side lots to think about.
The Redmen scrum was supreme and didn't suffer at all by shifting hooker Scott Forwell to the unfamiliar prop position, while the lineout was superb against bigger opponents, with Jono Speechley and Paul Cameron in great form.
The forwards were great, the backs inventive, and fullback Aaron Taylor topping thing off nicely with another excellent goal kicking performance, to create a dangerous balance.
While Grafton lost their way a little in the second half to let the game meander a little, it was still a good hard slog in the second stanza which is what is needed at this stage of the season, especially with a tough trip to Casino after the break.
It's a long season and much can happen. But a fortnight ago, if you asked who were the teams to beat, most would have said Ballina, University and Casino in that order.
The Redmen have taken the first two and have the Bulls next in the toughest possible start to the season.
It's certainly better than last season's four game losing streak to open proceedings.
nTHE other Clarence sides have performed well with the Buccaneers mid-table after one win, as are Iluka, while the Woopi White Pointers have been encouraging in their debut.