Cup tip: Ghosts
IT'S not official but put your money on the Grafton Ghosts winning back-to-back Clayton Cups.
The prestigious Clayton Cup, which has a rich 74-year history, is awarded to the best-performed rugby league team in Country NSW.
The Ghosts, who only lost one game this year, are expected to take out the prize after another outstanding season in which they were once again crowned Northern Rivers Rugby League champions.
According to those in the know, the Col Speed-coached Ghosts will win the award by a whisker from Illawarra heavyweights Wests Devils who are coached by former St George Illawarra great Paul McGregor.
Only three teams have won back-to back cups - Cobar (1971-72), Tumbarumba (85-86), and Forster Tuncurry (94-95)
Grafton Ghosts president Michael Rogan was over the moon when told his club were front-runners for the award.
"It's an amazing turn of events. Going from 2006-07 at the bottom of the ladder to playing two grand finals and winning two Clayton Cups," Rogan told the Examiner yesterday.
"If someone would have told me that a few years ago I wouldn't have believed them.
"It's a credit to the players and Col and the committee.
"It takes a lot of hard work to achieve such good results.
"It's not official yet but (from) what I've been told we will be presented with the cup before Christmas."
Rogan added the club was also eagerly awaiting news on Speed who is weighing up his options on where to coach next season.
"Col is up at Mackay at the moment discussing a possible coaching role but whatever he decides I'm sure we'll find a ready-made replacement," Rogan said
"It's a tribute to Col that the club is in the running to win the Clayton Cup for a second time."