Razzle dazzle Rebels on rampage in Group 2
SOUTH Grafton Rebels produced one of the best rugby league displays witnessed in the Clarence Valley defeating Macksville Sea Eagles 78-16 at McKittrick Park today.
Meanwhile Sawtell Panthers ended a four-game losing streak to defeat Grafton Ghosts 22-14 at Rex Hardaker Oval and Coffs Harbour Comets suffered its second loss in a row, this time 22-18 to Nambucca Heads at Coronation Park.
Billed as one of the match-ups of the season, giant-killers Macksville Sea Eagles came to McKittrick Park confident of adding undefeated Rebels to their list of scalps.
But the visitors, led by Aaron Wood, simply weren't in the same class as their opponents.
The return from suspension of centre Hughie Stanley saw the Rebels field their strongest side so far this season and the result was a mammoth 14-try demolition. Stanley himself was the centre of attention with four tries in a strong comeback performance.
A string of penalties had South Grafton under pressure early and Ricky Morris soon put Macksville ahead. But then it was one-way traffic as a very fit and mobile South Grafton side played its brand of high-tempo rugby league.
Forwards Ian Leota, Steve Walker and Jordan Walker were destructive in the middle. Mal Webster was the technician behind much of the expansive backline play.
As injuries took their toll on both sides - South Grafton second rower Jeff Skeen dislocated a shoulder and Macksville five-eighth Mike Flanders was stretchered from the field - the difference between the two benches was telling.
When the likes of Leota, Thomas McGrady, Josh Harris and Grant "Stumpy" Stevens are coming off the bench, there's little wonder Rebels ran riot.
SOUTH GRAFTON REBELS 78 (Hughie Stanley 4, Chris Carr 2, Rhys Walters 2, Steve Walker, Roy Bell, Oral Monaghan, Jade Duroux, Thomas McGrady, Ant Cowan tries; Bell 9, Cowan 2 conv) defeated MACKSVILLE SEA EAGLES (Ricky Morris, Steve Lewis, Joe Borg tries; Mike Flanders, Borg conv).
South Grafton Rebels 78 Macksville Sea Eagles 16
Sawtell Panthers 22 Grafton Ghosts 14
Nambucca Heads Roosters 22 Coffs Harbour Comets 18
Orara Valley Dingoes 56 Bellingen Dorrigo Magpies 24
South Grafton 14 Macksville 14, Sawtell 28 Grafton 28, Nambucca Heads 44 Coffs Harbour 20, Orara Valley 50 Bellingen 26.
South Grafton 42 Macksville 18, Sawtell 44 Grafton 12, Coffs Harbour 30 Nambucca Heads 24.
Byron Bay Red Devils 42 Lower Clarence Magpies 10
Murwillumbah Mustangs 20 Marist Brothers 16
Ballina Seagulls 20 Evans Head Bombers 12
Casino Cougars 56 Mullumbimby Giants 12
Northern United 50
Kyogle Turkeys 6
Lower Clarence 32 Byron Bay 26, Murwillumbah 36 Marist Bros 4, Ballina 16 Evans Head 0, Kyogle 34 Northern Utd 28.
Byron Bay 18 Lower Clarence 16, Murwillumbah 44 Marist Bros 12, Ballina 48 Evans Head 16, Mullumbimby 28 Casino 24