Royal haul for Duke as Rebels put ten tries past Magpies
DWAYNE Duke returned to his best while Roy Bell had an unusually off day with the boot as South Grafton Rebels defeated Bellingen Dorrigo Magpies 42-10 at Bellingen on Sunday.
A move from second row to centre was just what the doctor ordered for Duke, who earlier this season was under pressure to retain his starting spot in the side.
It was a reshuffled backline for Rebels, with Bell and Oral Monaghan slotting into the halves for unavailable Ant Cowan and Mal Webster Junior.
With Hughie Stanley serving the final week of his suspension, an opening in the centres became available, and Duke happily obliged.
"Duke played in the centres and had a bit more room to move and carved them up out wide," South Grafton president Ray Taunton said.
Thomas McGrady thrived in Bell's customary fullback position, with a hat-trick of his own, while Jade Duroux scored two and Bell one.
While the scoreline suggests the Rebels didn't put the Magpies fully to the sword, it is disguised by the fact Bell kicked just one of 10 conversion attempts.
"If you put all the kicks in there you're getting up near 60 points," Taunton said.
"There were lots from the sideline. He just wasn't quite on target and just missing. They were not wayward shots."
Jeff Skeen was once again mentioned as one of the standouts in the forward pack that laid the platform for the backs to dominate.
There were concerns when Monaghan left the field in the first half with a knee injury. However Taunton is confident the utility back will be available for what is turning into a mouth-watering clash with Macksville Sea Eagles this Sunday at McKittrick Park.
"I don't think they've lost a game since they brought those two blokes over from France," Taunton warned.
"It will be a big one for us."
SOUTH GRAFTON REBELS 42 (Dwayne Duke 4, Thomas McGrady 3, Jade Duroux 2, Roy Bell tries; Bell 1 conversion) defeated BELLINGEN DORRIGO MAGPIES 10.