Ghosts run riot at home over Nambucca
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Grafton Ghosts continued their charge towards the Group 2 finals, running in 14 tries against a gallant but understrength Nambucca Heads Roosters.
Ghosts looked scratchy early, with a few dropped balls disrupting their attacking rhythm, but it only took until halfway through the first half before the Ghosts hit their stride.
Ghosts' hooker Todd Cameron opened the scoring, crashing over close to the posts, before fullback Cooper Woods followed it up with another four pointer soon after.
It wasn't long before Ghosts winger Jay Olsen finished off a damaging line break from Ghosts lock Ben McLennan to take the lead out to 14-0.
Nambucca had an attacking opportunity after a 20m drop-out resulting from a penalty kick for touch going dead in the in-goal, but they failed to capitalise on the field position.
The Ghosts' forwards set the standard in the middle third with big hits in defence taking their toll on the Roosters, and with the ball in hand the Ghosts were hard to stop as they punched their way up the field.
In the dying stages of the first half an offload from Ghosts five-eighth Blake Winmill gave Curnow some space before he found a pass to Moss, who had enough room to slice through a scattered Nambucca defence to score the Ghosts' fourth try of the afternoon. Another missed conversion from Cameron saw the score remain 18-0.
Straight from the kick-off, the Ghosts were back on the front foot, and by the end of the set centre Dylan Collett had scored off a Danny Wicks pass to take the score to 24-0, where it remained by the end of the first half.
Early in the second half, Collett had bagged a double, and after a successful conversion the score extended to 30-0.
Nambucca had a chance to put some pressure back on the Ghosts with two repeat sets but a lost ball gave the Ghosts a reprieve, and defence turned to attack. After the Ghosts marched down field from some strong forward charges, halfback Jake Frame deftly manoeuvred through tired Nambucca defenders to score under the posts. The kick from Cameron was successful and the score went to 36-0.
A hard-running Brett Wicks broke through the Nambucca defence and two tackles later Cameron had scored his second try of the day, which was converted.
Nambucca hit back for their first points with five-eighth Jai Whaddy swooping on a deft kick through to the in-goal. Winger Joseph Blair's conversion took the score to 40-6.
With 13 minutes remaining, a show and go from Cameron saw the hooker bring up his treble, and the kick took the lead out to 40 points. As the match wound towards full-time Cameron crossed the line for the fourth time.
The match blew out as the minutes ticked down, with Collett bringing up five for the game and front-rower Riley Law crashing over for a try.
GRAFTON GHOSTS 72 (Woods, Olsen, Moss, Frame, Law, Cameron 4, Collett 5 tries; Cameron 8 goals) defeated NAMBUCCA HEADS ROOSTERS 6 (Whaddy try, Blair goal).