Taylor-led Ghosts rout Rhinos
AARON Taylor illuminated McKittrick Park yesterday as the Ghosts ran riot against a dismal Rhinos.
The Rhinos were thumped 60-6 by a clinical Ghosts side with Taylor having a field day with the boot.
The unassuming centre landed 10 conversions from as many attempts in a masterly display of goal kicking.
And if that wasn't enough, the classy back scored four tries for a personal tally of 36 points.
“I've scored a few tries when playing for the Redmen but it's a first with the Ghosts,” Taylor said after the game.
“I have never kicked 10 goals before either.
“I was hitting them shocking at training during the week but they came off the boot okay today.”
Taylor admitted he has had a slow start to the season but is beginning to find his feet and confidence.
“I've worked hard on my fitness at training after having a slow start,” he said.
“(Coach) Col (Speed) has been patient with me and has worked me slowly into the side.
“Col has also worked on my confidence and it's starting to pay off.”
The Ghosts were at fever pitch from the start and it only took two minutes for them to put points on the board.
Second-rower Ryan Danvers charged down a Ronald Gordon kick, scooped up the loose ball and sprinted 30 metres to score under the posts
From that moment the floodgates opened and the visitors showed little mercy against a paper-thin Rhinos defence.
Things got worse for Gordon when he threw a loose pass right into the hands of Taylor who won the race to the try line.
With Ryan Farrell and Dan Roberts orchestrating play, the Rhinos defence was at sixes and sevens as the 2010 premiers kept the scoreboard ticking over.
The Rhinos did however give their supporters a glimmer of hope after a Joe Ravueta special left six defender's grasping at thin air.
It was a rare bright moment for Ravueta who had an unhappy afternoon as did fullback Aaron Martin who had a horror game at the back.
The flying Fijian dropped the ball cold on at least six occasions and Martin was suspect under the high ball.
In a game which also featured bruising defence, the Rhinos' bench was working overtime as they struggled to keep pace with the visitors.
Up 30-6 at the break the Ghosts appeared to put the cue in the rack.
But it was only short-lived as they went up a gear in the final 20 minutes with some enterprising play. Speed experimented with his bench and at one stage had former winger Carson Galloway playing second row.
The Ghosts' avalanche of points was backed up by a rock-solid defensive pattern which according to Speed was a highlight of the game.
“I think the biggest thing for me was we got pride back in our line,” Speed said
“They only scored one try which the boys were filthy about.
“Another pleasing aspect for me was, and I don't want to be disrespectful to the Rhinos, was we didn't come down to their level.”
Speed added his rotation of the bench was another pleasing aspect of the game.
“I was very happy with the interchange. It worked well for us,” he said.
And when asked about Taylor's effort the Ghost's head coach had a wry smile on his face.
“It's fantastic to see Aaron back to his best. He's playing with plenty of confidence,” he said.
“It was also good to see ‘Freezer' (Tom Freebody) back with some aggression in his game.”
With the Rhinos out on their feet, cheap shots crept into their game and as tempers flared Freebody and Rhinos' five-eighth Ronald Gordon came to blows.
Both were given 10 minutes in the sin-bin for their troubles.
It was a day to remember for the Ghosts as they racked up 148 points across the three grades.
“It was the best performance so far this season by our reserve grade,” Speed said.