Lennox backs run riot

IT is hard to win a game of rugby against Lennox Head at the best of times, but when you lose almost your entire backline during the match the game is as good as over.

The Grafton Redmen where in the contest against the premiership favourites up until the halftime break, then everything suddenly went pear-shaped.

“We were still in with a chance at half-time, but losing most of our backline through injury certainly didn’t help our cause,” Redmen first-grade coach and captain Brett Graham told the Examiner yesterday.

“At one stage we had most of the under-19 backline out there,” Graham said

“We lost both centres and a couple of wingers ... I think only myself and five-eighth Trent Barber were the only ones left in the backs from the run-on side.”

The Redmen may have kept in touch with their opponents in the first half, but with a reshuffled backline the Grafton side was given a rugby lesson, eventually losing the match 50-10.

Graham said he was impressed with his forwards on the day, in particular the way they held their own in the scrum.

“I thought we matched them in the forwards and I wouldn’t say their scrum domi- nated us at all,” he said.

As predicted by Graham earlier in the week, the Lennox Head side have no shortage of match-winners in a backline oozing with class.

“They ran all over us in the second half in the backs, and when they brought on their Country representative centre they were hard to contain,” he said.

“Their centre started running through us and set up most of their plays. Put it this way ... he could certainly play the game.”

Graham was full of praise for the under-19 players who were thrown into the cauldron against more-experienced and hardened footballers.

“To their credit the young guys went well, although they were up against much bigger and stronger opponents,” he said.

This weekend the Redmen are at home to Casino, and according to Graham, clashes between the two sides in the past have been played with plenty of passion and intensity.

“I’m assuming the match against Casino will be a typical hard and physical game.

“They always are,” Graham said.

He said he expected most of his players to be fit for the local derby but would need to check on their fitness at training during the week.

“I think the guys should be alright. There were no serious injuries only a few corked thighs and head knocks,” he said.

In other matches, Lismore proved too strong for Ballina winning 21-14 and Casino disposed of Southern Cross University 26-12.

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