Ghosts a chance to repeat
THE Grafton Ghosts picked up where they left off last year with a comfortable 26-0 victory over Group 2 side Orara Valley at the weekend.
In their second trial match for the year, the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) premiers kept their rivals scoreless with a masterful display of defence, and at times brilliant attack.
For coach Col Speed the match reinforced his side’s ability to keep opposition sides at bay with their well-structured defence.
“We pride ourselves on our defence and I was pretty pleased with the guys, especially with several first-grade players missing,” Speed said.
“Orara were a tough team to play and I thought their structure was pretty good.
“I think at one stage they had about six sets at us. To the guys credit they held them out then scored up the other end.”
Speed said the trial gave him the chance to have a close look at those players pushing for a regular gig in first grade.
“It was a good to see some of the players have a chance to experience first grade,” he said.
“Young Sam and Jake Lennon went well at hooker and five-eighth and I thought Luke Welsh on the wing and Troy Munro at left centre both had great games.”
Speed also used the opportunity to try players out of their regular positions.
“Aaron (Hartmann) had a stint at five-eighth and did a good job and Ryan Farrell took over the hooking role for a while,” Speed said.
“Aaron wanted to get his hands on the ball more and be a bit closer to the action ... trialling guys out of position served its purpose.
Ghosts new signing Ashley Tschumy was another to impress.
A utility back signed from the Atherton Roosters, Tschumy will add depth to an already potent Ghosts’ backline.
“Ashley played well for us in the centres and with a bit more fitness under his belt will be a real asset to the club,” Speed said.
“I also thought young Mitch Lollback went well for us at the back scoring two tries and Khan (Williams) didn’t let us down.
The Ghosts next game will be in the pre-season NRRRL Charity Shield against Evans Head at McKittrick Park on March 19.
With so many talented players on their books the Ghosts are again shaping up as the team to beat in this year’s competition.
“We’ll have a squad of about 25 for our next match. For a coach it’s a good headache to have,” Speed said.