Magpies outplay Rebels in derby
By JASON HEBBARD
ON Saturday night we took on South Grafton Rebels in three grades.
First grade were looking to win their second local derby in a row after defeating the Grafton Ghosts the previous week with a strong team performance.
Knowing it was going to be a tough encounter I knew my boys would have to be committed for the full 80 minutes.
We got off to a great start with Darrin Essex scoring the first try from a planned move.
South Grafton hit back not long after to even the score.
Replacement player Grant Brown scored a great individual try to get us back in the lead by a converted try.
South scored and converted a try late in the first half to level the score at 10-all at halftime.
We knew we had to grind the second half out and be enthusiastic and play smart.
We did just that, with five-eighth Adam Elliott leading the way busting the line early in the second half to score, followed by some individual brilliance by fullback Aaron Murry to score next to the post and take the score out to 22-10.
The Rebels hit back again later in the game but powerhouse front-rower Luke Mapperson sealed the victory for us with a determined run 40 metres out, busting the line and scoring next to the post to give us a much needed 28-14 win.
Every player played outstanding and gave 100 per cent.
Players' Player went to front-rower Luke Mapperson who made the South Grafton forwards work hard to contain him every time he touched the ball.
Special thanks to Grant Brown, Aaron Taylor, Ryan Binge and Daniel Battersby from the Under-18s who made up our bench, and all played well.
RESERVE grade again got off to another great start, matching South Grafton in the first half.
Carl Laurie, Anthony Hickling and Damian Randall all scored great tries to keep the halftime score at 14-all.
In the second half Souths came out on top, racing away to take out the game 56-14.
Lack of reserve grade numbers has seen the team struggle but a big thanks goes out to coach Darren Brouph and his players that turn out each week, along with a handful of Under-18s who also put their hand up to play.
THE Under-18s needed another win to keep their semi-finals campaign going.
The boys are up around the top three or four on the competition ladder and are a big chance to go all the way this year if they stay committed.
The first half was a tight tussle with the halftime score reading 16-10 with both sides showing no signs of cracking.
In the second half Grant Brown came out firing, scoring two tries and kicking a number of goals to help his team win the game 34 points to 10.
Aaron Taylor also scored two great tries, showing what a great talent he is. Once again it was a team effort that won them the game. Well done boys.
Next week we are at home on the Maclean Showground to take on the Ballina Seagulls. Hope to see as much support there as possible.
The big bite
BRISBANE. ? Brent Tate's return from injury is set to put the bite on Brisbane winger Leon Bott's dream debut season with the teenage flyer likely to be dropped for tomorrow night's NRL clash against the Bulldogs.
'Lightning' Bott is set to be squeezed out of the Broncos' top-squad that heads to Sydney today and will instead roll out for Brisbane's feeder club Toowoomba in the Queensland Cup.
The 18-year-old schoolboy has scored 11 tries in 17 games this season but Tate's return, coupled with the importance of the occasion, forced Wayne Bennett's hand.
Bennett knows that a win against the Bulldogs could severely hamper the reigning premiers' chances of making the finals after an injury-plagued campaign.
Former Brisbane captain Gorden Tallis believes the game could be a preview of this year's grand final if the Bulldogs manage to sneak into the top-eight.
"It's going to bring out the best in both teams," Tallis said.