RUGBY LEAGUE: While he lamented the bye weekend, Grafton Ghosts leader Danny Wicks admitted the added rest for his players could not have come at a better time as the side launches an assault at the Group 2 finals.
Grafton will be rolling into their first game at Frank McGuren Field in three weeks when they meet a fourth-placed Sawtell Panthers outfit tomorrow.
With the Ghosts now three points clear of the Rebels at the top of the ladder, Wicks admitted there was a bit of a buffer between his side and the rest of the competition.
"I think without being comfortable where we are we have had a good chance mid-season to sort of recover,” he said. "To a degree we have a buffer on the rest of the competition without sounding too complacent.
"We're in a position where we are lucky enough to get a bit of a rest and this time I think it will play into our favour.”
The Ghosts are expected to welcome back a slew of their first grade roster from injury with explosive centre Dylan Collett ready to play his first game in a month.
Injured second-rower Matt Muller and forward Brett Wicks still sit under and injury cloud and will be given until a final training run today to prove fitness.
Carlton Elliott and Tim Tilse have been added to an extended bench as cover.
"To be honest I am not in any rush to get blokes back into the team,” Wicks said.
"It doesn't matter what the result is this weekend, we will definitely have some fresh bodies for the weeks heading into finals.”
The last time the two sides met it was a bruising clash in the wet at Rex Hardaker Oval where the Ghosts ran out 48-10 victors.
With plenty of moisture still in the surface at Frank McGuren Field the return clash is expected to be just as gritty between the sides.