Aaron Hartman.
Aaron Hartman.

Hartmann battles the pain

TO BE picked in a representative team is always an honour, but for Grafton Ghosts’ Aaron Hartmann it can also be a hindrance.

On Friday night the star centre strained his hamstring in the first minute of the game against Central Hunter Power in the curtain-raiser to the City versus Country game and had to make a decision, limp off the field or play through the pain.

For Hartmann the decision was an easy one. As he has done so many times in the past, he played the full 80 minutes, not letting his team-mates down.

Northern Rivers ended up going down to clinical Hunter Power 42-28. For Hartmann it was a matter of survival, knowing he had to back up for the Ghosts’ round two game against Cudgen Hornets yesterday.

“I strained my hamstring in the first minute of the game. It didn’t feel comfortable at all,” Hartmann said.

“I didn’t want to let the boys down but in the back of my head was club footy and the game against Cudgen on Sunday.

“I was worried about doing serious damage to the hamstring but in the end I got through and lasted the 80 minutes.”

One player not so lucky was Hartmann’s team-mate Carson Galloway, who left the field with lateral ligament damage to his knee, which could sideline the dynamic winger for up to three weeks.

Hartmann said the Hunter-based team was well disciplined and continually made easy metres up the middle of the field.

“They had a nuggetty forward pack and when they got a roll on were difficult to contain,” he said.

“We had a lapse in the first half and they scored three tries in consecutive sets.

“We fought back in the second half but we missed several conversion attempts, which didn’t help our cause.”

Hartmann said Ghosts’ back-rower Grant Stevens, who was a late inclusion in the team, rose to the occasion, as did Don Dickson and Rhinos utility Todd Cameron.

“Don played well at lock and Stumpy (Grant Stevens) had a blinder.

“Todd didn’t get much game time but when he was on made an impact,” he said.

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