The view from the top
By DAVE MORRISON
The Grafton Redmen
THERE'S two undefeated sides in the Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Union, but after today's round 7 top of the table clash at Wollongbar, there will be just one -barring an unlikely draw.
Both Grafton and Wollongbar are undefeated after near perfect starts to the season and meet today to establish early premiership favouritism.
For the Mighty River Redmen, it will be their biggest test to date against a Pioneer side that has surprised pundits so far this year.
On the results to date, Grafton have earned favouritism.
They have won five from five, collecting the bonus point in each game and haven't been seriously tested, leading by at least 20 points by the half time break in each.
Their scoring record is impressive, 240 points and 45 tries for with only 29 against, their line being crossed just eight times.
The Pioneer record, with bonus points in four of their five wins, is solid without matching the Redmen's spectacular effort, having scored 122 for to 81 against.
These records highlight the potency of the Grafton attacking game this season and perhaps the big difference between the two sides.
However, the Redmen have yet to be seriously pushed and have had each game, and the bonus point, well in hand by the half time break.
The big question mark for them is how they will respond to a side that can go with them early, and whether they can play out the 80 minutes under pressure.
Certainly Ballina and University pushed them hard late in their respective games, but after the damage had been done and Tweed put up a game fight early.
One thing for sure today is that the Pioneers will go all day and present a far more solid all round side than the Redmen have met this year.
Wollongbar have got out of jail in their past two outings with last-minute tries getting them home against University and Ballina.
That indicates that they are a fit, committed side confident in their ability, and one that will go hard to the final whistle.
They will play a game of pressure and counter attack, take the game up to the fancied Redmen and see how well they respond.
Grafton should prevail in an interesting clash that will have a big bearing on how the season unfolds for both sides.
A bus leaves the Jacaranda Hotel at 11am.