Redmen’s Scott Lloyd forges ahead during Saturday’s match against Kyogle at Rugby Park.
Redmen’s Scott Lloyd forges ahead during Saturday’s match against Kyogle at Rugby Park. Lynne Mowbray

Major changes to Redmen backline

FOR most rugby teams, having your two centres unavailable for a vital match is not an ideal preparation.

The Grafton Redmen clash with Southern Cross University at Lismore today minus Scott Lloyd and Chris Adamson.

However, with the two experienced centres missing for the round-two must-win game captain/coach Brad Lloyd hasn’t hit the panic button just yet.

Far from it.

Thanks to the Redmen’s player depth this season Lloyd has named two handy replacements

“Scott and Chris are out, so we’ve replaced them with Dwayne Duke and brought Huan Collie up from fullback,” Lloyd said.

“We won’t lose too much with Dukey and Huan.”

After the narrow loss to Casino last round, Lloyd has made further changes to the Redmen backline in a bid to get their season back on track.

“Kyle Hancock makes his return to the fullback role and I have switched our halves,” Lloyd said.

“John Morgan will move to halfback and Barney (Brett Graham) will play in the number-10 jumper.

“John prefers playing at half and has played there in the past and Barney is no stranger to the five-eighth role.

“I feel Barney will provide us with more direction and he also has a bit more speed.”

It’s no secret the Redmen scrum was pushed all over the paddock last week but according to Lloyd his tight five has been working hard during the week to rectify the problem.

“We were up against it last week but we’ve worked hard at training on our scrum,” he said.

“Tony King has been helping us out with our scrum technique.”

Known for its attacking flair, University is always a dangerous team, if the forwards provide the backs with plenty of clean ball.

“University are a young side who love to move the ball. But with the backline we’ve selected there’s no reason we can’t do the same,” Lloyd said.

“We’re hoping to play a more attacking game than last week and having Billy Hickson returning on the wing will give us plenty of pace out wide.”

In its first hit-out of the season University put up a brave showing against a strong Lismore outfit, with a narrow 20-14 loss.

Grafton and University will both be desperate to grab the two points, because they are languishing on the bottom of the first grade ladder.

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