REBELS RUMBLED: South Grafton end 2018 season in defeat
RUGBY LEAGUE: The South Grafton Rebels first grade side bowed out of the Group 2 competition with a loss in their final home game of the season, going down to the Orara Valley Axemen 48-12.
It was Orara that scored first out wide through winger Nathan Moran, and with the try not converted the visitors held a 4-0 lead.
The Axemen scored again halfway through the first half with front-rower Jared Roberts barging over close to the line. The try was converted by Liam Dunn to take the score to 10-0.
The Rebels scored their first points after Xavier Sullivan got away an offload, which found Josh Harris who threw a cut-out pass to Damon Kirby who crossed on the wing. The kick for goal by Nick McGrady was spot on to reduce the margin to four points with 12 remaining in the half.
It wasn't long, however, before Orara returned the favour through a try to Dunn. The winger was unable to convert his own try, with the score remaining 14-6.
Orara five-eighth Michael Hart did it all himself in the final stages of the first half, slicing through some tired Rebels defenders to score under the posts. Dunn converted the try to take the score to 20-6.
After a series of hard forward runs, the Axemen marched upfield and Thomas Hall crashed over the line to take their lead out further, and with the kick from Dunn successful Orara Valley went into the half-time break leading 26-6.
The Rebels defended strongly to start the second half, but their line was finally broken by Axemen's A.J. Gilbert, who charged over carrying defenders on his back. The try was converted, taking the Axemen out to 32-6.
Gilbert made it a double not long after, taking advantage of a barnstorming run from Roberts to further extend the Axemen's lead, and the kick from Dunn pushed the scoreline to 38-6.
The Rebels needed to put some points on the board, and a dive out of dummy-half by hooker Jack Gull saw him score his maiden first grade try. The conversion from McGrady took the score to 38-12.
With 13 minutes left on the clock Dunn bagged his second try, and with the conversion waved away the score was 42-12.
In the final minutes of the game, Orara Valley fullback Luke Beaumont broke through the line to score a runaway try, which was converted by Dunn to make the final score 48-12.
FULL TIME: ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 48 (Moran, Roberts, Hart, Hall, Beaumont, Dunn 2, Gilbert 2 tries, Dunn 5 goals) defeated SOUTH GRAFTON REBELS 12 (Kirby, Gull tries, McGrady 2 goals)