Neori Kuramalawa, Grafton Rhino, takes on Ballina Seagulls’ Number 9 Andrew Battese and Number 13 Kane Montgomery at McKittrick Park.
Neori Kuramalawa, Grafton Rhino, takes on Ballina Seagulls’ Number 9 Andrew Battese and Number 13 Kane Montgomery at McKittrick Park.

Players power through the pain

TWO GAMES in three days. That’s what Grafton Ghosts players Aaron Hartmann and Grant Stevens put their bodies through this weekend and on Sunday the pain was all worth it.

The two NRRRL representatives backed up from their game against Hunter Power on Friday night to guide the Ghosts to a 32-16 victory over the Cudgen Hornets.

Coach Col Speed was full of praise for his two star players who put aside pain and fatigue to help the competition favourites win their second game in a row.

“It was a great effort from Aaron and ‘Stumpy’ (Grant Stevens) to back up after Friday night,” Speed said.

“Stumpy was outstanding and Aaron, who has snuck under the radar lately, had a fantastic game.”

With pocket dynamo and noted speedster Carson Galloway sidelined through a knee injury young Jason Cheney made his debut on the wing and according to Speed, Cheney grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

“It was Jason’s first game in the top grade and he didn’t disappoint. And I thought Dave Emmott was good up front and Thomas Burrell played well when he came on,” Speed said.

The Ghosts are a hard team to crack and they pride themselves on defence, something Speed was more than happy with after the win against the Hornets.

“Overall our defence was a highlight of the game. They (Cudgen) scored off a kick and scored a late try in the second half,” he said

Led by former NRL player and halfback Craig Field the Hornets kept in touch with the visitors which was evident by the 8-6 half-time score.

“Cudgen are going to be a challenge this year especially with Field directing their attack. They also have a couple of very handy front-rowers,” Speed said.

“They have good structure in defence and keep things tight...they will certainly push a few teams this season.”

Apart from their solid defence Speed said he was also impressed with his side’s completion rates and ball control which was missing at times last week against Evans Head.

“We kept our errors down for most of the game but towards the end of the second half were guilty of pushing passes.” he said.



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