Ghosts bounce back with big over Woolgoolga
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Grafton Ghosts have smashed the Woolgoolga Seahorses 60-10 in drama-packed afternoon at Frank McGuren Field, Grafton.
The Saturday afternoon clash had drama on the field as tempers flared after a high shot on Ghosts centre Cooper Woods left him with a suspected concussion and Woolgoolga prop Kefu Ikamanu was sent to the bin.
Meanwhile off the field there was drama when police arrived to arrest Grafton Ghost online commentator Doug Graham on an outstanding warrant midway through the first half.
But drama and spite aside this was a game the Ghosts were never going to lose from the fifth minute.
The Ghosts put on a move on the left edge when captain/coach Danny Wicks surged forward, then slipped a short pass to Dylan Collett who sprinted 30m to score. Hooker Todd Cameron converted to open up a 6-0 nil lead.
Some ill discipline from the Seahorses gifted the Ghosts a succession of penalties and eight minutes later Collett was in again for another converted try.
Woolgoolga hit back a few minutes later when centre Michael Grant crashed over when the Seahorses enjoyed a rare spell in Ghosts territory.
At 12-4 and with the Ghosts conceding a string of penalties, the smell of a contest was in the air, but it was quickly snuffed out when the Ghosts chased through a kick from debutant half Vincent Williams.
The bounce eluded defenders and Woods hacked the ball ahead into the in goal and dived on it to score.
It was the start of a special afternoon for the half-back who scored the next try with a sprint to the right corner, then set up several more from a mixture of deft kicks and clever passes.
In the second half Williams kicking game exploded for right winger Jay Olsen who picked up four tries chasing Williams kicks or feeding of passes.
The only bright moment for Woolgoolga came midway through the second half when a rare Ghosts dropped ball gave centre Sione Fangupo a sniff and he muscled his way over the line.
Tempers flared soon after when the Ghosts began to complain a number of high shots were going unpunished.
Wicks and co-coach Clint Greenshields brought it to the referee's attention, but it wasn't until a swinging arm knocked Woods to the ground, where he lay motionless for a few minutes, that the referee took action.
Woolgoolga prop Ikamanu was sent to the bin and Woods was helped from the field, with a suspected concussion.
After the game Greenshields was delighted with the performance coming after last week's loss to the Coffs Comets.
"The things we worked on during the week we did pretty muchperfectly out there today,” he said.
He said the fact the majority of the Ghosts tries were scored in the backs was also pleasing.
"We play an expansive game so to the have a winger (Olsen) getting four and the two centres five between them was what we want to see,” he said.
"We aim to be a threat across the field, but you want to see the strike players scoring.”
Greenshields was also pleased with the debut of Williams at halfback.
"There were a couple of little defensive blemishes, but overall I was very pleased with his involvement and execution,” he said.
Grafton Ghosts 60: J Olsen 4, D Collett 3, C Woods 2, V Williams 1, B Winmill 1 tries/ T Cameron 7, Muller 1 goals. d Woolgoolga 10.