Light freezes Rhinos
SIMPLY outclassed. Those were the two words Grafton Rhinos coach Shaun Fathers used to describe his side’s efforts against arch-rivals the Grafton Ghosts yesterday.
The two Grafton sides played off for third position in the NRRRL Charity Shield at Oaks Oval Lismore with the 2010 premiers running out 34-6 winners.
After impressive wins in Rounds 1 and 2 of the pre-season competition the Rhinos came back to earth with a thud at the hands of a well-drilled Ghosts outfit.
“We were outclassed by a better side. Their (Ghosts’) defence was solid throughout the game but in saying that we didn’t throw much at them,” a disappointed Fathers said after the game.
“We didn’t turn up to play.
"We needed to show more discipline and we failed to stick to our game plan.
“Basically our game plan was thrown out the window.”
Grafton Ghosts captain and halfback Ryan Farrell said his side were up for the game after a team meeting during the week.
“We talked about the game during the week and just before we ran out on the field,” Farrell said.
“We realised we haven’t been playing all that good in the last few games so we needed to lift against the Rhinos.
“It was important to get our game back on track with the competition starting this weekend.”
The Ghosts, who pride themselves on defence, once again showed their willingness to get off their line and up into the faces of their opponents.
And according to the star halfback it’s no fluke opposition sides struggle to cross the Ghosts try line.
“We always put in a team effort when it comes to defence,” Farrell said.
“We work for each other, have the right attitude and defend hard all the time.”
Farrell added his side had valued possession, unlike previous weeks where they have been guilty of far too many handling errors.
“I thought we had better structure in attack and we didn’t push the passes,” he said.
“We made less mistakes and everyone worked hard for each other.”
Regular Grafton centre Aaron Hartmann again packed down in the scrum although his captain said he was not sure if the makeshift back-rower would remember much of the game.
“Aaron’s been playing some great footy in the second-row but he was a bit dazed for most of the game,” he said.
“He copped an accidental knock to the head early on but managed to finish the game.”
Farrell said he was impressed with Hartmann’s centre replacement, Troy Munro, fullback Mitch Lollback and winger Sam Hartmann.
“Troy had a ripper of a game, he’s a very good ball runner,” Farrell said.
“I also thought Mitch Lollback at fullback went well scoring a couple of tries and Sam picked up a double playing on the wing.
“Sam actually had a cracker of a game ... both of them know how to find the try line.”
The Ghosts are at home to Lower Clarence Magpies in Round 1 of the NRRRL competition this weekend which already has fans salivating.