Record breaking Redmen
By Dave Morrison
A RECORD-breaking performance by the Mighty River Redmen has seen them continue their perfect start to the season, five bonus points wins from five games, to retain their lead of the Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Union competition.
Centre Aaron Taylor and winger Shane Denshire broke long standing individual records in Grafton's 82-5 defeat of a game, but outclassed Lennox Head Trojans at Lennox Head on Saturday.
Centre Taylor broke a club all grades individual point scoring record that had stood since 1981, with his three-try and ten goals from eleven attempts effort for a personal tally of 35 points.
Taylor, an obvious standout in the game, could have scored even more if not having gifted a try to another and handing over an easy late kick at goal, in a dynamic, but unselfish performance.
Winger Denshire, son of respected rugby icon from the 70s Rod, lived up to his obvious potential with a stellar five-try haul that also set a new club try-scoring record that was previously set at four, shared by five players dating back as far as 1972.
The 12-try effort from the Redmen was another emphatic performance against the gallant Trojans that despite holding Grafton scoreless for two 15-minute periods in each half, were blown away from a superb Grafton backline that found space every time they spread the ball wide.
Lennox got stuck in early and pressured Grafton who had a slowish start, but the Redmen class soon showed out and by the break, the 49-0 lead looked like anything could happen.
Lennox again gave everything after the break, but the big step up from the second division proved too much against the competition pacesetters and the Grafton backs, on the back of a dominant pack, ran riot.
The win, despite the obvious difference in class between the two sides, demonstrated a new found potency in attack and confidence in this Grafton side who, at this albeit early stage in the season, are quickly setting a yardstick by which other sides will be measured.
The scene is now rapidly being set for what must surely be the Clarence Valley's biggest sporting local derby in two weeks when the Redmen host the high flying Yamba Buccaneers.
Centre Jon Chevalley, on his debut as captain of the first grade side, led from the front doing all the tough stuff, and that of others as well, for good measure.
Denshire and Taylor were obvious standouts, winger Denshire all class in finishing and power, while Taylor's pace and ability to run a hole created havoc all day.
In a dominant pack, experienced flanker Tim Landrigan was prominent while the younger Landrigan, five-eighth Jason, set the backline alight in a polished display.
The lower grade game saw the Grafton thirds continue on their winning way with a solid 28-5 win over Lennox.
The forwards were slow to get going but once they did, the backs got going and dominated the game.
Dylan Lewis and Andrew Sear were standouts, Sear playing out of his skin, with James Townes' goal kicking also being a feature.