Big boppers to put the stoppers on backlines
THIS match has been constantly billed as the match of the season and I doubt it will disappoint any fans.
This is the week for big spectacles in the rugby league world and for Group 2 the cross-river derby is the biggest of them all.
In the recent past the Ghosts have had the wood over their South brethren but this season it looks like the Clarence's tide has turned in favour of the flying Red V.
The Rebels side has been an unstoppable force in Group 2 this season. The additions of Mal Webster Jnr, Ant Cowan, Roy Bell and Hughie Stanley to their side this season has turned the fortunes towards South Grafton and made them the best attacking side in the competition by a country mile.
But that does not mean they will walk away the victors tomorrow at Frank McGuren field.
This is not a match that will be won through outside back brilliance.
Like the State of Origin spectacle this week, the local derby will be a midfield slug fest. A game played in the central third of the field - a game for the lovers of brutish hits and gallant carries.
Both these sides have big forward packs with a lot of skill and determination.
And it is whichever forward pack that gets the roll over the top of the other that will lead their side to victory.
Since they made their return to the Rebels pack, big Steven Walker and Jordan Walker have been near impossible to topple. But they are not coming up against any old forward pack this weekend.
The Grafton Ghosts front row pairing of Ben McLennan and Mitch Wicks is close to the best in the competition.
And the emotion of the moment will only charge McLennan even more to lead from the front and show his boys how it is done.
Completion rates will be the key in this showdown, with the side that holds the ball closer to their chest to take the ascendancy early.
Look for the Rebels boys to get the go forward and begin to mount pressure and score points through solid second phase play and strong offloads.
As the Rebels captain Rhys Walters said, "you cannot go around them, before you go through them first".
This is going to be tough, this going to be brutal, this is going to be good rugby league.