Ghosts' goliath second half sinks the Rebels on derby day
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Grafton derby is one of the most eagerly anticipated bush footy fixtures of the year and on the final day of the regular season it delivered.
The Rebels put in a good fight at Frank McGuren Field today but the Grafton Ghosts turned it on for a huge second half try haul to win 50-12.
The opening stages were cagey for both sides but the Ghosts got off to a flying start when Riley Law found a gap in the Rebels line and opened the scoring just three minutes in.
South Grafton didn't drop their heads though, putting the Ghosts under pressure and working some room but Allan McKenzie's shifty kick was picked up well by Mitchell Lollback in goal.
The Rebels went inches away from a leveller at the other end but Grant Brown couldn't hold onto the ball over the try line.
Grafton took to the other end and centre Dylan Collett opened his account with a smooth finish out on the right hand side.
The home side had a rare lapse in concentration when Clint Greenshields put the ball down off the kick-off and the Rebels made them pay moments later as Austin Cooper barrelled his way through.
Grafton then made another out of character mistake under the pump when Lollback put the kick-off out on the full and the Rebels almost grabbed a second try but the Ghosts defence held them up in goal.
The home side extended their lead when Collett breezed through on the left flank with five to go in the half but a Brown penalty kick narrowed the gap to eight as they went into the sheds.
Both sides looked a little flat to start the second half but some huge tackles in the middle kicked the derby back into gear.
The Rebels opened the scoring in the second period when Craig Waters found a gap out wide to close the gap to just two points.
Grafton turned it on halfway through the second half with three tries in six minutes starting with a dazzling Lollback run to go through before Collett and Muller piled on the points.
The Ghosts closed out the game with tries to Lollback, Gorman and man of the match Collett who picked up his fourth for the game.
Grafton Ghosts 50 (Tries: Law 3', Collett 15' 36' 63' 70', Lollback 60' 75, Muller 65', Gorman 72' Goals: Cameron 4' 61' 64' 71' 73' 76', Williams 37') def. South Grafton Rebels 12 (Tries: Cooper 19', Waters 54', Goals: Brown 20' 40')