Redmen fight on in lower grades
DESPITE the season coming to a close for the first grade team, the Grafton Redmen will feature heavily in this year's Far North Coast Rugby Union finals.
The President's Cup team was the most successful this year, finishing the season second, just three points behind the minor premiers Yamba Buccaneers.
It sets up one of the biggest local derbies of recent memory, where they'll collide in the major semi-final at Yamba Oval on Saturday.
The stakes couldn't be higher, with the winner qualifying directly for the grand final.
Redmen president Adam Crawley is looking forward to the game, describing the clash as awesome.
"It's going to be great. Buccaneers in a major semi - game on," he said.
The Reserve grade team will travel to Crozier Field, Lismore, where it will take on Lennox Head in the minor semi-final.
Coach Craig Howe praised the depth of the club and said he was confident of a win.
"There have been a lot of injuries through the club this year and everyone's stepped up to the plate," he said.
"It shows how much depth the club has to get three teams in the finals. I think we've got a side that can go all the way, so I'm pretty confident."
Howe highlighted flyhalf Paul Cameron, scrumhalf Sean Austen and teenage sensation Connor Vest as being keys to the team's success.
"Paul has been superb this year and Sean will most probably captain the side," he said.
"Connor has been sensational for us. He's backed up after the under-19s for us all year and he's grown in confidence all year."
The U19s will also feature in their minor semi-final, where they'll meet Ballina.
- FULLBACK Ben Stone put in an electric performance at the weekend, but his four-try heroics weren't enough to lead the Grafton Redmen to victory.
In their final game of the season, the Redmen threw everything they had at third-placed Lismore City, only to go down 33-22. It capped an injury-ravaged season for Grafton, which finished fifth.