FULL-FLIGHT: Grafton Redmen prize recruit Mitch Lollback on his way to scoring a double against Vikings.
FULL-FLIGHT: Grafton Redmen prize recruit Mitch Lollback on his way to scoring a double against Vikings. Gary Nichols

HAMMERED HOME: Redmen take outright lead on ladder

RUGBY UNION: McKIMMS Grafton Redmen's relentless race towards the Mid North Coast premiership continued at Rugby Park South Grafton on Saturday with a 51-24 drubbing of Hastings Valley Vikings.

The victory has Grafton sitting atop of the Mid North Coast ladder with nine rounds remaining.

It has been a magical month for the Redmen who have now staked their claim as genuine premiership contenders with a clinical display against one of the Mid North Coast heavyweights.

Redmen first grade coach Craig Howe said the victory had his side believing anything was possible.

"I think the side is starting to believe we can match it with the best sides in the competition,” Howe said.

"They (Vikings) have won three out of the past four premierships.”

"Coming into the game there was no way I thought we would put fifty on them.

"Our patterns are working, the system is working and the width we played with tore them apart.

"We did a lot of work during the week focusing on different ways to run our pods and it paid off today.

"We played expansive footy which actually opened them up in the middle.”

GOING NOWHERE: Grafton Redmen's Josh Nagle (headgear) and Angus Howard halt the progress of a Vikings' player  at Rugby Park South Grafton on Saturday
GOING NOWHERE: Grafton Redmen's Josh Nagle (headgear) and Angus Howard halt the progress of a Vikings' player at Rugby Park South Grafton on Saturday Gary Nichols

Grafton racked up seven tries, with sharp shooter Luke Worthing producing an almost flawless display with the boot, slotting six goals and two penalty goals.

But it was the little man out wide who caused most of the damage. Prize recruits Karrnunny Pearce and Mitch Lollback, who project unbridled joy on the footy field, were a constant threat out wide.

"Our strike power out wide is fantastic,” Howe said.

"It's hard enough for a opposition side to deal with one player with Karrnunny and Mitch's ability, but having two makes it even harder to combat.

"In saying that we're probably not giving enough credit to our defence which was outstanding.

"Every time we turned the ball over we shut them down with scrambling and set defence.”

Grafton has the bye next week with the bye followed by a blockbuster game against Coffs Harbour Snappers as part of their 50-year reunion weekend.

"We've got one game to get through in the first round against Coffs and obviously our aim is to remain undefeated and worry about the back end of the season after that,” Howe said.

Grafton's second grade side beat Vikings 22-19.



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