TOUGH MATCH: The South Grafton Rebels came up short against the Macksville Sea Eagles, going down 46-20 in the regular season's second last match.
TOUGH MATCH: The South Grafton Rebels came up short against the Macksville Sea Eagles, going down 46-20 in the regular season's second last match. Matthew Elkerton

Rebels go down to all but end finals hopes

RUGBY LEAGUE: In a match that typified their 2018 season, missing players and injury cruelled the South Grafton Rebels' chances of securing a win against the Macksville Sea Eagles, going down 46-20 in a loss that all but ended hopes of playing finals football.

With one game left in the regular season the Rebels would need to win this weekend and other results to go their way, but club secretary Terry Power said there would need to be a dramatic improvement in their performance to warrant a finals berth.

"The loss was horribly disappointing, obviously everything was on the line for us in a very tough game,” he said.

"The score probably didn't reflect the game, it was a bit tighter than that. It was a good contest, and nice tough game but we had a couple of errors which led to tries on their part. When we were in a position to get back into the game we had a couple of lapses and just couldn't make the most of it, it's been the story of our season.”

At half time the Rebels were only trailing Macksville by six points, however Power said two quick tries from the Sea Eagles snuffed out any hopes of a come from behind victory.

"We were playing catch-up footy all game - which is hard to do,” he said.

"We would put ourselves in a position where we could assert some authority then lose the ball and that error would ease all the tension.”

Power said an early head injury to Anthony Skinner saw him take no further part in the game, and a rotating halves combination made it hard for the team to have consistency.

South Grafton will host the Orara Valley Axemen in the final game of the regular season, and Power said the Rebels will be looking to end the season on a high.



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