Rampant Redmen romp home
By Dave Morrison
ANOTHER dominant performance has seen the Mighty River Redmen retain their lead of the Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Competition with an emphatic 63-0 whitewash of a game, but outclassed Tweed-Coolangatta at Grafton on Saturday.
Despite the nine-try romp, Grafton had to work far harder than the scoreline suggests as the big and physical Tweed pack took it right up to the Redmen from the opening whistle until the end.
In fact, the opening 10 minutes were all Tweed as they camped in the Redmen half and showed that they were right up to the task of taking on the competition front runners.
However, in a telling blow, Grafton responded in style in their first foray into Tweed territory, fullback Justin Spurway sparking the attack and handling twice before sending big Number 8, Al Donaghy, over near the posts.
Minutes later, centre Aaron Taylor crossed out wide to put Grafton clear by 14 points.
Taylor had a great game and was player of the match, shading winger Tom Gerrard and Spurway, scoring two tries and kicking eight from eight, giving him a personal tally of 26 points for the match.
His speed and ability to find a gap played constant havoc with the Tweed backs and his ability to link with outside backs Spurway and Gerrard was a feature.
Following Taylor's try, the floodgates that many expected to open didn't and Grafton, despite gradually getting on top of their rivals, had to work hard to score.
A fine Spurway try off a set moved worked by the backs stretched the lead to 21 points at the break.
The second stanza saw the Redmen dominate territory and possession, their forwards well and truly on top by then with lock Jono Speechley prominent.
With a glut of quality ball to play with, the Redmen backs had fun and found plenty of holes with some creative play and excellent support, resulting in a further six tries against a plucky but tiring Tweed defence.
Once more, the Redmen set pieces were instrumental in the result, although they found in Tweed probably their toughest and most physical rivals in the season to date.
The Grafton backs were excellent, looking dangerous at every touch.
nIN the lower grades, a much improved Bailey and Gough seconds had a field day, scoring 10 tries in their 68-5 romp against Mullumbimby.
Centre Scott Lloyd with a hat trick of tries, five eighth Andrew Roseby and hooker Sean Austin stood out in a enterprising display that also showcased a great attacking display from their backs.
Third grade rattled up another 50 point scoreline for the Redmen.