Melrose relishes in second chance at Roosters
HE WAS the scapegoat of 2014. Jay Melrose played only a handful of games before being rubbed out for the remainder of the Group 2 season for threatening a referee and departed South Grafton Rebels in disgrace.
Nambucca Heads Roosters opened their doors and offered a hand to Melrose.
Now, 12 months on, the talented backline specialist has repaid that faith with a brilliant individual season as the league's leading try scorer (26) and could be on the edge of something very special for the Roosters, who continued their march by knocking defending premiers Grafton Ghosts out of the competition with a 28- 22 win at McGuren Field on Saturday.
"For sure after last year I only did five games, I've had to turn it around and come back stronger and better," Melrose said.
"I moved into a new position in the centres and have got a little bit more space with the ball and I'm liking it.
"The boys have come together with pride and heart and playing for brotherhood.
"We came from losing our first three at the beginning of the comp and come back with six wins in a row and still rolling on.
"So I've got all the confidence in the boys to do what we can to win the comp."
Coach Peter Barrett seems to have the Roosters, wayward at times during the season, cruising in the right direction.
"He brings a bit of old school to the mix," Melrose said. "We've all respected for him for what he's done. He's helped a few boys out off the field and on the field."
Nambucca Heads play Coffs Harbour this Sunday for the right to face South Grafton in the grand final.