Junior rugby bearing fruit
THE Far North Coast Juniors excelled themselves at the Country Championships at Moree, with the under-15s winning their final easily, while the under-14s made the final after having caused the competition upset with their win over the red hot Hunter side in the semi-finals.
The results are testament to the rapid growth of the junior Friday night competition and is a credit to all those involved, including long-term zone junior administrator Mick Melino, right down to all the coaches, referees and canteen helpers.
The Friday night atmosphere at any ground is just a good one to be around, games played in the right spirit and the crowd involved, but respectful.
That's just how it was in Grafton last Friday night with the under-17 game that I blew the whistle in. A ripper and one that was a pleasure to be involved in.
For the record, the Grafton boys scored an entertaining 24-14 win, suggesting that they'll have a pretty good season ahead.
It all happens again this Friday with four games set down in the 13s, 14s, 16s and 17s.
Also on juniors, it seems that Grafton will be hosting two sides from GPS powerhouse Riverview in July with their first and second 15s pencilled in to play the Redmen.
Ray Collie will be looking for all hands on deck for that one.
Other dates in the rugby calendar include the annual Charity Ruck'n'Ball to be held on June 20; Ladies Day on July 4, and; sponsors day on August 8.
There'll be word soon too on a 40th reunion for Grafton Rugby, most likely on Saturday, July 11.
It doesn't get easier for an injury ravaged Redmen when they take on Wollongbar at home in four grades this weekend.
The new look side has copped an injury toll the likes of which I can't remember so early in the season, but the boys have still be having a dig. They really need just a few things to go their way so the message out to the loyal band of Redmen supporters is to get there this Saturday if at all possible.
A big vocal home crowd may just be the circuit breaker to get their season rolling.
In other games, Ballina should continue their wining way at University. Casino and Lennox will be intriguing, but Lennox showed last week that they are coming into form and should get the result.
Tweed hosting Lismore will be the match of the round with Grafton's Gervase Bertus being given the accolade of officiating.
Hard to pick, but Lismore look pretty sound at the moment and should get home.