TRY TIME: South Grafton Rebels front rower Jeff Skeen barges across to score the opening try against Nambucca Heads Roosters in their Group 2 first grade clash at McKittrick Park.
TRY TIME: South Grafton Rebels front rower Jeff Skeen barges across to score the opening try against Nambucca Heads Roosters in their Group 2 first grade clash at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

DEMOLITION DAY: Rebels sack depleted Roosters outfit

RUGBY LEAGUE: From the opening whistle to the final one, South Grafton was too good in every facet as it racked up a cricket score against the Nambucca Heads Roosters.

Front-rower Jeff Skeen led from the front for the home side, while Luke French notched a first-half hattrick in a 104-4 victory over a depleted Roosters.

It was ugly for the visitors, who had more than half the first grade side backing up from reserve grade before.

Skeen made his intentions known off the kick-off, leaving Nambucca Heads defenders in his wake on a 40m charge.

But if his effort on the first hit-up was devastating for the Roosters, they only had to wait until the following set when Kieron Johnson-Heron found the front-rower five metres out from the goal line in front of the posts.

Skeen barrelled his way between the Roosters' front-row pairing to score the first points for the Rebels inside the first two minutes of the game.

The Rebels did not have to wait long to extend their advantage after Skeen again busted the line off the kick off before offloading to Ant Skinner who ran 70 metres upfield to put his name on the scoresheet.

With plenty of bodies backing up from their reserve grade victory, the Roosters struggled to match the intensity of the South Grafton side in the opening stages.

Josh Harris was next to score for the home side after the ball was raked free from the grasp of Rebels captain Xavier Sullivan over the Nambucca goalline. With defenders stopped watching the ball, Harris scooted around the back of the play and planted it down for an easy four-pointer.

Nambucca would give its fans a slim glimpse of hope the following set after relieving penalties from the Rebels allowed the visitors to get prime field position.

With the Rebels defence compacting to stop the spread of the ball, halfback Larnus Leisha put a deft kick across field to find fullback David Marchant who dove across on the left edge.

But the hope would be drained from the Roosters side as quick as it had it, when the ball was put down off the following kick-off and the Rebels awarded a penalty off the scrum.

It was a piece of Ant Skinner trickery that brought about another try for the home side when he dummied off the tap kick to score from 10 metres out.

The pain would not end before half time for the Roosters who were yet to feel the wrath of South Grafton's silky centre Luke French.

After Kieren Stewart backed up through the middle to score a try of his own, South Grafton's silky centre Luke French launched his own assault on the Nambucca Heads outfit.

Two long range break-away efforts and a spread of the ball 20m out from the line saw French score a running treble of tries to help take the score to 52-4 for the home side.

While his players struggled to find their heads in the first few minutes coming out of the sheds, Rebels coach Ron Gordon soon had them back focussed on the task at hand.

Leading from the front, Harris soon made it two tries for the afternoon after barging his way between tired arms on the edge.

If it was an Aussie rules score at halftime, it quickly turned into a cricket score as South Grafton made short work of a dismal effort from the Nambucca forwards.

Kieron Johnson-Heron and Mikey Rigg both got their first tries of the afternoon after they backed up some cracking lead-up play from halfback Allan McKenzie.

In a rare moment for the second-rower, Harris made it a hattrick for the afternoon, storming to the line untouched from 30 metres out off the following set of six.

Not to be outdone by the big man inside him, Rebels winger Skinner also crossed for his own hat-trick of tries after he was on the end of a classy piece of work from McKenzie.

A break through the line from Rebels captain Xavier Sullivan helped put Matty Laurie under the posts when he found the lock trailing on his inside shoulder.

French almost scored his fourth try of the afternoon but found Johnson-Heron to score under the posts.

Joe Rigg scored his first try of the game before second-rower Karl Woodley also got his name on the scoresheet after he barged his way over tired defenders.

Izack Smidt had a top notch day with the boot nailing 16 from 18 conversions, and he managed to cap off the afternoon with a try of his own in the dying minutes to take his personal tally to 36 points.

SCORELINE: SOUTH GRAFTON REBELS 104 (Luke French 3, Josh Harris 3, Ant Skinner 3, Kieron Johnson-Heron 2, Kieren Stewart, Izack Smidt, Jeff Skeen, Karl Woodley, Matty Laurie, Joe Rigg, Mikey Rigg tries; Smidt 16 goals) def NAMBUCCA HEADS ROOSTERS 4 (David Marchant try)

OTHER GROUP 2 SCORES

Grafton Ghosts 42 def Sawtell Panthers 30

Macksville Sea Eagles 32 def Orara Valley 12



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