Rebels go on the attacking for second win of the season
SOUTH Grafton Rebels provided a perfect illustration of going out with a bang by scoring a thumping win in the final round of the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
The Rebels trounced Lower Clarence Magpies 66-12 at McKittrick Park on Saturday to notch only their second win of the season.
Rebels fans have suffered all season as their team bounced from loss to loss in their first year back in competition.
There was a brief respite for the fans in May when the Rebels beat the Magpies 34-30 at Maclean Showground.
Those same fans now have reason to party hard with the Rebels running in 13 tries to two to notch their first win at their home base.
The win ensures that the Rebels avoid the wooden spoon and coach Grant Stevens cut a triumphant figure after the game.
"It's good to avoid the wooden spoon in my first year as coach," he said.
"Winning it would be the worst possible thing in my first year. I'm glad we won't get it."
Making victory even sweeter for Stevens was the manner in which it was delivered.
Stevens, who will step down as coach to focus on playing next season, has spoken glowingly about his team's attacking flair and it was there for all to see on Saturday as the Rebels turned McKittrick Park into an attacking wonderland.
"They looked really good in attack," Stevens said.
"One of our problems has been defence but the attack has been really good all year."
For the Magpies the result means another wooden spoon to add to their collection.
It caps a difficult year for the Maclean-based club, with their battle with injuries and player unavailability extending into the last round.
Magpies coach Ricky Binge admitted he was glad it was over and praised the 18 players who turned up.
"They deserve a big pat on the back," Binge said.
"We only had 18 players here and they played both games.
"I'm pretty happy it's over. Good luck to whoever coaches next year."