IN THE CLEAR: Centre Cooper Woods crosses the line for his second of three tries to help the Grafton Ghosts to a comprehensive 54-4 win over the Macksville Sea Eagles at Frank McGuren Field.
IN THE CLEAR: Centre Cooper Woods crosses the line for his second of three tries to help the Grafton Ghosts to a comprehensive 54-4 win over the Macksville Sea Eagles at Frank McGuren Field. Jarrard Potter

Ghosts clip Sea Eagles' wings in dominant display

RUGBY LEAGUE: An undermanned Grafton Ghosts piled on the points, running in 10 tries and 30 unanswered second-half points to decimate the Macksville Sea Eagles 54-4 at Frank McGuren Field yesterday afternoon.

On a day celebrating the legends of the Grafton Ghosts, the team put on a try-scoring display for the former players of the club against last year's grand finalists, and rocketed to an early lead through tries to captain-coach Danny Wicks and Daniel Lavender.

Their third try came from a bizarre sequence of play after the Sea Eagles kick-off went out on the full, and the resulting penalty kick from the Ghosts failed to find touch. Sea Eagles winger Jack Ireland batted the ball back into the field of play and into the waiting arms of Cooper Woods, who swooped and ran 30 metres to find the tryline.

Woods scored his second of the afternoon minutes later when he finished off a play started by a linebreak made by Wicks to take the Ghosts out to a 20-0 lead late in the first half.

It was all one-way traffic until Macksville lock Brad Southan put his side on the board, but Ireland missed the relatively simple attempt and goal to leave his side 16 points behind.

The Sea Eagles were their own worst enemy as poor ball control invited the Ghosts back on their tryline, and it wasn't long before the Ghosts were on the board again, this time through winger Mitchell Gorman who finished off a sweeping backline play to score in the corner.

On the stroke of half time the Ghosts had a shot at a penalty goal to take their lead ahead further but Billsborough's attempt was waved away to leave the Ghosts in front 24-4.

Macksville started the second half strong, but it wasn't long before the Ghosts wrestled away the momentum, and while they went close to scoring several times early in the second half they were denied only through some desperate Macksville defence.

Gorman opened the account for Grafton's second half, then Caleb Barker found open space through tired Sea Eagles defenders before linking with hooker Todd Cameron who scored his first try of the day.

The Ghosts ran rampant on their left edge and found their next try when Joel Moss pierced a gap in the Sea Eagles defence to put fullback Mitch Lollback away to score under the posts. Ghosts half-back Brad Billsborough made no mistake with the conversion to take their score out to 42-4.

Tries to Woods and Cameron late in the second half had the Ghosts bring up their half-century to rout the team that had ended their 2018 season.

GAME DAY: GRAFTON GHOSTS 54 (Lollback, Gorman 2, Woods 3, Cameron 2, D Wicks, Lavender tries, Cameron 2, Billsborough 5 goals) def MACKSVILLE SEA EAGLES 4 (Southan try)



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