STEPPING UP: The Grafton Ghosts have seamlessly filled injury-enforced gaps with youngsters like Jake Barnett (pictured), Blake Winmill and Cody Hartmaan.
STEPPING UP: The Grafton Ghosts have seamlessly filled injury-enforced gaps with youngsters like Jake Barnett (pictured), Blake Winmill and Cody Hartmaan. Debrah Novak

Ghosts bracing for tough encounter with battle-hardened Bombers

THE top two teams in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League will clash at Frank McGuren Field on Sunday.

Grafton Ghosts and Evans Head Bombers share the competition lead on 10points, with their battle shaping as a potential grand final preview.

Ghosts captain-coach Ryan Farrell said he was looking forward to a tough battle.

"We were very disappointed with our second half last week so we'll be trying to fix that," Farrell said.

"We have played well in patches throughout the year but have failed to put 80minutes together for a while.

"When you're on top of the table while playing poorly, it can't be too bad.

"Putting 80minutes together is something we have to get right tomorrow because it's going to be tough."

The Ghosts will go into the clash without one of their best players, with second-rower/centre Aaron Hartmann ruled out with a knee injury.

The rise of Josh Donohoe has come at the perfect time, according to Farrell, who said the talented second-rower was getting better with every game.

"Aaron will be out for a while but Josh will take his spot," Farrell said.

"Aaron might have strained ligaments in his knee. It isn't anything overly major but he has to get it right.

"The quicker Josh realises how good he is, the better. He has speed, strength and an awesome fend."

Farrell said Evans Head were a solid team.

"Evans are at the top of the table for a reason," Farrell said. "They have a group of big forwards that roll up through the middle of the field and don't give anything away."

Grafton Ghosts v Evans Head

Kick-off for Reserve Grade is at 1.30pm, First grade at 3pm

Frank McGuren Field

1. Matt MullerAaron Scells

2. Joel MossJack Wythes

3. Khan WilliamsDarcy McKenna

4. Sam HartmanTamuta Mataora

5. Dan LollbackTerry Kelly

6. Blake WinmillTodd Graham

7. Ryan Farrell (c)Ryan Eckersley

8. Mitch WicksTim Tregidgo

9. Todd CameronBrad Fletches

10. Tim TilseAlan Campbell

11. Ben McLennanJared Waters

12. Ryan DanversEli Cook

13. Josh DonohoeJosh Cook

14. Cody HartmannPenoa Liupau-Auapaau

15. Jake Barnett.Kai Northey



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