Five games 'will not weary them'

SUNDAY'S local rugby league derby will mark the fifth game in 14 days for three of the Grafton Ghosts' leading players.

Northern Thunderbolts rep players Ryan Farrell, Aaron Hartmann and Dan Roberts will have played three rep and two club games in the 14-day period.

The trio will fly to Wollongong either tomorrow or Saturday morning to play in the next round of the Country Cup Carnival.

Ghosts forward Nat Sewell will also make the trip south, but he has the benefit of having missed last weekend's game against Ballina with a minor injury sustained in two Country Cup matches in Lismore on May 2 and 3.

The four players will return to Grafton on a flight on Saturday night, and will run out for the Ghosts on Sunday against the Grafton Rhinos at McKittrick Park.

Ben McLennan will not travel to Wollongong, but is still a chance of playing on Sunday.

Despite the gruelling schedule, Grafton Ghosts first grade coach Col Speed was confident his star players would be ready for Sunday's much-anticipated encounter.

Speed said it was all 'part and parcel' of rugby league and was confident the 'professional' Thunderbolts staff would take good care of his players.

“Look at the Country versus City boys ... they have to back it up the next day,” he said.

“Jonathon Thurston seems to thrive on playing back to back games.

“You just need to know how to prepare yourself and how to manage the situation.

“They'll be right to go.”

On the flip-side, the Ghosts will be compensated with an entire bench of fresh reserves for Sunday's big clash against the Rhinos.

“It's a boost and with our depth it's good,” Speed said.

“(But) it can work with you and sometimes against you.”

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