Grafton Rhinos’ Xavier Sullivan and Tony Stakehouse are looking forward to the knockout rugby league competition.
Grafton Rhinos’ Xavier Sullivan and Tony Stakehouse are looking forward to the knockout rugby league competition.

Rhinos launch season with knockout

THE Grafton Rhinos are hoping a pre-season knockout involving 16 teams will be the perfect way to launch their 2010 rugby league campaign.

The knockout event, to be played under lights at South Grafton’s Rugby Park, will be held on March 5 and 6 and promises to showcase some of the best rugby league talent on the North Coast.

Rhinos spokesperson Pat Swift said the knockout should be a good curtain-raiser to the season proper.

“We are hoping to draw three or four local sides and teams from the surrounding groups,” Swift said.

“We will invite everyone but we expect most teams that nominate will come from Northern New South Wales.”

With $10,000 prizemoney on offer – as well as local bragging right - attracting quality teams should not be an issue for the Rhinos committee.

Swift said he was involved with a similar knockout with the Group 9 club West Wyalong, which has been a huge success.

“I spent a couple of years in West Wyalong, they hold a similar tournament which has been very successful,” Swift said.

“It’s been running for about 37 years and is an ideal way to kick-start the season.”

Swift said naming rights for the knockout league will be announced in the coming weeks however the Jacaranda Motor Lodge, The Great Northern Hotel, Hydraulink and XXXX Gold have already thrown their support behind the event..

Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse said the inaugural knockout tournament will feature a cup to the winner in memory of JB (Phil) Walsh, who is being honoured for his continued involvement in rugby league over the years.

“Phil was a fantastic supporter and person. He was heavily involved with the South Grafton Rebels and was on the steering committee for the Rhinos,” he said.



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