Rising star McGrady set to shine in DEX shield
TOM McGrady is a confidence player and right now it's sky high. Fans who witnessed South Grafton's 78-16 win over Macksville in Group 2 Rugby League would know the 17-year-old is not out of place in the star-studded line-up. Indeed his try attracted the biggest standing ovation of all 14.
"He scored a great try on Sunday," Rebels first grade coach Dallas Waters acknowledged. "I thought it was not possible. He's brimming with confidence."
McGrady was fast-tracked into the NSW Country Under-18s after representing East Coast Dolphins and tours New Zealand with the side as fullback this Friday.
First, however, he'll wear the pride of South Grafton High on his sleeve in The Daily Examiner Shield Open Rugby League final against Maclean High at McKittrick Park at 7.30pm tonight. Follow @bill_north #DEXShield for live updates. Game day program in today's The Daily Examiner.
South Grafton has been hot and cold lately. An impressive win in round one of DEX Shield was followed by a shaky 32-20 win over Grafton High. They picked up the pieces to win the University Shield North Coast B final but suffered a last gasp Country Cup loss to Melville High on Monday.
"The boys have played a lot of football the last two weeks," coach Matt McKee conceded. "If we're fit and ready to go we're a good chance. But Maclean's a good side and it all depends on how our fellas turn up.
"I'm hoping the adrenalin will get them through it."
"It would be good to get a couple of thousand people there because it deserves a big crowd," he said.
"I expect it to be a cracker. Sort of like NSW v QLD, mate against mate. Some South Grafton boys play for Lower Clarence Magpies but they'll be enemies once they're out on the field.
"Most of the boys have known each other for 10 or 12 years and this will be the last game for our Year 12s.
"It would be a great way for them to finish to win the 'Examiner'. Luke Douglas said to us in the sheds last year he doesn't even remember his early games for the Sharks. He remembers those games with his mates from Maclean High more than anything else."