Ghosts ready to rip in today's semi-final
IT'S BEEN a torrid week for Grafton Ghosts in the race to recover from last week's bruising 33-22 loss to Coffs Harbour.
Described on Tuesday night as "the walking wounded" by manager Joe Kinnane, Joel Moss, Cameron Winters, Ben McLennan and Matt Muller were all restricted to light duties and paid visits to the physio.
In the meantime Ryan Farrell was once and for all ruled out for the remainder season due to the elbow injury sustained in the last round against South Grafton Rebels.
While most proved their fitness on Thursday night, the major casualty was Matt Muller (shoulder, chest). The North Coast representative centre will miss today's Group2 Rugby League minor semi-final clash with Nambucca Heads Roosters at Frank McGuren Field.
His replacement will be North Coast Under-18s representative Dylan Collett, who is no stranger to a starting spot in the top grade this season.
"Matt was at training last night but he might be out," Ghosts teammate Brett Wicks said.
"If he can't play it will be a big loss for us but we've got Dylan to come in. He's a really good young footballer with a lot of potential.
"Everyone else is good to go and we just want to rip in."
Wicks insisted the Ghosts will bounce back hard from last Sunday's loss.
"The attitude wasn't there and we weren't putting bodies on the line for each other," he said.
"(Captain-coach) Benny (McLennan) has given give us a good grilling, we're tuned and ready for this weekend.
"We're not dwelling on the past."
Fourth is not good enough in the eyes of the Ghosts, who remain confident they can defend their title.
"We still want to win the grand final and we've got a good chance," Wicks said.
"We're coming off playing probably the worst game we've ever played and we only lost by 10.
"We want to get this win under our belt and have a go at getting into the grand final."
Standing in the way is a Nambucca Heads side that has won its past five matches. In fact their last loss was 44- 6 in their previous visit to McGuren Field on June 28.
"We just have to keep our cool, play our own game and don't buy into their playing structure," Wicks said.
"If we complate our sets and keep the rubbish out of the game we'll be right.
"We've got the firepower there."
1. Cameron Stewart
2. Mitch Gorman
3. Dylan Collett
4. Carlton Elliott
5. Joel Moss
6. Raih Woodley
7. Blake Winmill
8. Ben McLennan (c/c)
9. Todd Cameron
10. Mitch Wicks
11. Khan Williams
12. Brett Wicks
13. Adam Slater
14. Josh Brown
15. Joel Collison
16. Josh Donohoe
17. Cameron Winters
Manager: Joe Kinnane