BACKING UP: The Redmen will look to continue their great early-season form against competition newcomer Tweed Coolangatta.
BACKING UP: The Redmen will look to continue their great early-season form against competition newcomer Tweed Coolangatta.

Redmen head into unknown

By DAVE MORRISON

The Grafton Redman

THE Mighty River Redmen delve into the unknown today when they host new club Tweed Coolangatta in round 4 of the Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Union.

Little is known of the Tweed Baa Baas, their form a virtual mystery following a two-week layoff due to Easter coming on top of their bye.

A first up loss to University followed by a commendable showing when beaten by Casino has revealed little, however their previous years in the tough Gold Coast competition will surely hold them in good stead on the Far North Coast once they adjust to the different style of play.

The fact that so little is known about the visitors has made it hard for Redmen coach Gary Powell to prepare.

Despite this, one thing for sure is that he will have stressed the importance of going on with the job to his charges.

The opening three rounds have seen Grafton effectively winning the game, with a bonus point, by halftime, only to see them lose their way a little in the second stanza, to the extent that they have yet to win a second half all year.

Finishing the game off will be a key area for the Redmen.

Powell saw plenty of positives from last week's solid win at Casino, with the added attacking potency of a reshuffled backline a big plus.

Winger Shane Denshire, who made his top grade rugby debut last week, gave the side heaps of options while the move of Aaron Taylor from fullback to centre also reaped benefits by getting him more involved I the game.

Powell has stuck with that lineup today and expects them to really fire if given enough ball.

Another win will keep the Redmen on top of the competition before next week's bye.

It is a big test for the lower grades tomorrow with both seconds and thirds needing to kick start their season after slow starts against Mullumbimby.

First Grade: Dan Hayne, Gary Powell, Scott Forwell, Matt Runge, Jono Speechley, Jon Chevalley, Paul Cameron, Al Donaghy, Brett Graham, Jason Landrigan, Shane Denshire, Ray Mercy, Aaron Taylor, Jus- tin Spurway, Tom Gerrard.

Faith in youth

LISMORE City coach Nigel Marshall has placed his faith in youth for today's match against Ballina at the Quays Reserve, Ballina, in round four of the Coopers FNC rugby competition.

Teenagers Barry Williams at hooker, halfback Cameron Doyle and winger Anthony Iosefo have all been elevated to first grade as Marshall tries to find a combination that will fire.



UPDATE: Fire out of control, too late to leave

UPDATE: Fire out of control, too late to leave

A major bushfire at Ellangowan has just jumped containment lines

Fires close one highway, affect another

Fires close one highway, affect another

Live Traffic NSW is advising motorists to avoid these areas

FIRE FRONTLINES: Help has arrived

FIRE FRONTLINES: Help has arrived

Local firefighters take a well-earned rest from the front

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