Redmen halfback Brett Graham playing against Casino last week. The nuggetty play-maker switched to fly-half against Southern Cross Uni on Saturday and almost got the Redmen home.
Redmen halfback Brett Graham playing against Casino last week. The nuggetty play-maker switched to fly-half against Southern Cross Uni on Saturday and almost got the Redmen home. Gary Nichols

Redmen fall short...again

FOR the second week in a row the Grafton Redmen narrowly missed out on the two competition points – this time going down 17-14 to Southern Cross University at Lismore.

Edged out by Casino last week, Grafton again found themselves on the wrong side of the ledger after what Redmen captain-coach Brad Lloyd described as a “dour affair” played in muddy conditions.

“It was a pretty dour game, much like last week,” a disappointed Lloyd told the Examiner yesterday.

“The conditions weren’t that great for running rugby but if looking for a positive I thought our defensive effort was very good.

“We scored two tries apiece and we had a chance to lock the game up early in the second half but missed a penalty goal.”

University, a side known for their attacking flair, failed to cross the Redmen try line in the second half even after the visitors were reduced to 13 men.

Lloyd and centre Dwayne Duke were given their marching orders late in the match after both received yellow cards.

“We defended the last eight minutes of the second half with only 13 on the field,” Lloyd said.

“I received a yellow card and so did Dukey. Dwayne did a good clean hit on a University player but the referee gave him 10 in the bin for failing to use his arms in the tackle.

“I came back on the field with two minutes to go and Dukey didn’t come back on.

“I suppose one pleasing aspect was the way the boys defended. We were down a couple of players and Uni still couldn’t crack our defence.”

Unlike last week’s game against Casino, Lloyd said the Redmen scrum finally got their act together on Saturday.

“Our scrum was a lot better this week and in fact we won two tight-heads,” he said.

While they didn’t claim the ultimate spoils the Redmen have a chance to redeem themselves at home next week when they take on Wollongbar-Alstonville.

“We need to start getting that winning culture back,” Lloyd said.

“We just can’t quite get over the line at the moment. We need to get a win on board to get our season back on track.”

The Pioneers suffered their second loss of the season going down 15-8 to arch-rivals Ballina at home.



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