Rebels ready to rock and roll for Group 2 season
SOUTH Grafton Rebels have a long and storied history of success, and what better way to show it than another premiership in their 100th season.
It is a tough ask for the squad, but their trial and training form, on top of their heavy recruitment drive, indicates it is not outside the realm of possibility.
In fact, the Rebels have assembled a team that can challenge the top sides.
They showed fleeting glimpses of form last season but were unable to compete with the other Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League sides in their first season back as the Rebels after the collapse of the failed Rhinos franchise.
The challenge for new coach Dallas Waters is to harness the ability of returning players like Rhys Walters, Dwayne Duke and Ben Woods, jell the existing combinations with new recruits like Brogan and Jay Melrose and Ian Leota, and turn those fleeting glimpses into 80-minute displays.
"It's too early to say if we'll be top four material but we're looking quite well for this weekend," Waters said.
"Tomorrow is a big occasion with our first home game of the 100th year.
"I can't fault our preparation. Woolgoolga are one of the top teams in the comp so it's going to be tough, but my focus is on winning those two points.
"We have a plan, we just need to stick to it."
First grade lineup:
1. Brogan Melrose
2. Andrew Gillett
3. Michael Randall
4. Donald Johnson
5. Anthony Skinner
6. Aaron Martin
7. Jay Melrose
8. Ian Leota
9. Rhys Walters
10. Vincent Duroux
11. Dwayne Duke
12. Karl Woodley
13. Luke Welsh
14. Ben Woods
15. Matthew McLennan
16. Ronald Gordon
17. Tasman Randal