Redmen a tad rusty
IT was typical for a trial game - both sides a bit rusty and with some work to do on fitness - but Grafton Redmen co-coach Scott Forwell was well satisfied despite his side's 10-5 loss to the Coffs Harbour Hurricanes at Grafton on Saturday afternoon.
With plenty of experimenting in positions and some key players missing - particularly the size of Matt Runge and Nathan Cooper - a slightly disjointed game eventuated.
The visitors scored early to jump out to a five-point lead, but thereafter things were evenly contested right to the end, with both sides trading tries late.
In addition to the early season cobwebs, both sides struggled at times to adjust to the new rules in place for the season, which on first evidence, produced a faster, up tempo game in which team cohesion was tested.
However, Forwell thought all the signs were positive and that the team would soon adjust.
Centre Shane Denshire was one of the best on the field, while loose forward Bart McGrath as usual showed his class.
Another to standout was Scott Lloyd, making the transition from centre to flanker to great effect, while his brother Brad was noticeable for his work rate.
Youthful hooker Zac Page was another to catch the eye.
The Redmen travel to Coffs Harbour this Saturday night to take on the other Coffs-based side, the Crusaders, as they continue their preparations for the season opener against Ballina at home on April 18.
How the Redmen's season looks (home games, played at Rugby Park, South Grafton, in bold):
Bye for Anzac Day…April 25
Lennox Head…May 9
General bye…June 6 and 13
Lennox Head…July 11
General bye…August 1
Finals run from August 22 to September 12.