Bragging rights, cash on the line

THE Grafton Rhinos’ inaugural rugby league knockout competition is starting to take shape with interest already from local Northern Rivers Regional League teams.

The $10,000 knockout, to be staged under lights at South Grafton Rugby Park on March 5 and 6, is sure to attract quality sides with the winner’s purse alone fetching $8000.

The 16-team knockout is the perfect way for teams to kick off their season according to Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse.

“It’s hard to see how local teams would pass up the opportunity for a chance to win the first prize of $8000 with the runner-up receiving $2000,” says Stackhouse.

“We have already received nominations from Casino, Northern United and Lower Clarence. It is difficult for country teams so early in the year with sides getting their calendars set.

“I know a lot of our guys are still playing cricket."

With sponsors in place, Stackhouse says the knockout is looking positive.

“All is good at the moment. The knockout is something we’ve been waiting to organise since starting in the competition, things are finally falling into place,” he says.

The Daily Examiner asked Grafton Ghosts coach Col Speed yesterday if his team would be entering a side in the knockout for a chance at the prizemoney.

Speed confirmed the Ghosts would not be nominating a team due to other commitments. “We have enough trials at the moment to keep us busy,” Speed said.

“We have a group trial and our annual trial against Orara...that’s enough pre-season for us.”

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