Rebels forwards come to rescue in win over Roosters

RUGBY LEAGUE: The South Grafton Rebels big men had to play match winners again with the red and white forward pack marching over Nambucca Heads in their 26-22 victory.

It was a tough day away for the Rebels who for most of the match were left with only one player on the bench after serious injuries to Luke Roberts and Matt Laurie ruled them out from finishing the match.

Rebels coach Ron Gordon praised his forwards for their efforts on the park but said there was work to be done in the backs with their execution of set plays.

"It was a good win for our boys, they stuck it tough and played really well," Gordon said. "I think more than anything it was our big boys who stood up for us.

"Xavier (Sullivan) and Stumpy (Grant Stevens) got through a mountain of work again and really stood out for me. Theeran (Pearson) was also really good.

>> LAST WEEK: Sullivan winds back the clock in big Rebels win

"But again it was just one of those games where we couldn't complete sets. We just couldn't get that roll on over Nambucca.

"We need to work on polishing up these moves where we are getting through them but the last pass just doesn't stick."

Gordon expects the Rebels set-pieces will get better with more game time after a disrupted pre-season and late inclusion of Queensland Cup signing Theeran Pearson meant the full side have only had two training sessions together so far.

Gordon praised the efforts of Nambucca Heads Roosters and captain coach Cameron Blair who is in his first season in charge of the side.

"I was very impressed with Nambucca, they were just aggressive the whole game, they play 80 minute football," Gordon said. "Cameron Blair copped a forearm from Stump early in the game and was out cold for a couple of minutes but still was strong enough to continue in the game.

" I didn't expect that from them."

The Rebels will now look forward to the Battle for the River against the Grafton Ghosts this Sunday.

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