Rebels tackle nemesis
By Tim Howard
An injury-hit South Grafton Rebels take on their nemesis Marist Brothers at McKittrick Park tomorrow afternoon in round six of the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition.
The Rebels will take the field without star centre Ken Mercy, who has a leg injury, goal-kicking fullback Doug Walker and battering-ram prop Nathan Kelly.
But captain coach Stevie Kirby is adamant the replacements will aim up for this vital clash.
"It's a tough game for the Rebels," Kirby said.
"We're sitting in fifth and if we want to stay in the top six, we can't afford a loss."
He said the heavy loss to Ballina followed by the bye last weekend could be a blessing against Marist Brothers which has a number of players backing up from last night's NSW Country Championship match.
"We'll be having a training run tomorrow (Saturday) just to make sure we've got everything right," he said.
Marist Brothers coach Craig Hodge is wary of the Rebels, especially Ray Mercy in the backs and giant forward Xavier Sullivan.
"Ray's a class player who can cut any side to ribbons and Xavier's size means he can put a few dents in you if you don't aim up on him," Hodge said.
"But to be truthful I couldn't really tell you too much about their side. I tend to concentrate on what we've got to do."
The action kicks off tomorrow at McKittrick Park at noon with the Un- der-18s. Reserve grade begins at 1.15pm and first grade at 3pm.
Fullback: Walter Donnelly, wings: Andy Bell, Dave Purcell; centres: Ray Mercy, Mark Laurie; five-eighth: Paul Donovan; halfback: Dallas Waters, lock: Colby Schrader; second-row Dion Donnelly, Scott Laurie; props Brad Lloyd, Xavier Sullivan; hooker: Stevie Kirby. Coach: Stevie Kirby.