Redmen think positive
LAST season an away trip to Ballina meant one thing for the Grafton Redmen.
A loss by a huge margin.
On Saturday the new-look Redmen side may have suffered another loss to their more fancied opponents but according to captain/coach Brad Lloyd his side are the real deal in 2011.
“We went down 27-17 and it was only our kicking which let us down,” Lloyd told the Examiner yesterday
“We actually scored three tries apiece but they converted all their tries and two penalty goals.
“We only managed to kick one conversion.”
With a real air of confidence surrounding the club this season Lloyd said his side's performance on the weekend has given the players a feeling of self-belief.
“There were plenty of positives to come out of the game and the players are playing with confidence,” he said.
“In fact the whole club performed well on the day. Our fitness was good and we were still full of running right up until the final whistle.”
Lloyd added the only low point in the game came in the opening stanza after his side got off to a sluggish start and were guilty of too many unforced errors.
“Once again we started slow and made too many indiscretions ... it's something we need to fix before next week's game,” he said.
Former Grafton Rhinos' centre Dwayne Duke proved switching codes was not an issue.
The no-nonsense outside back was rewarded with a five-pointer and also received the three points from his team-mates.
“Dukey scored another try and was one of our best players on the day.
“He's played rugby before out west and I thought his combination with my brother Scott went really well,” Lloyd said.
“I also thought our scrum was great. Ballina fancy themselves in that department but I thought our guys stuck it to them.
“Our scrummaging showed a big improvement.”
The Redmen are at home to Casino this Saturday who were defeated 27-7 by a red-hot Wollongbar Alstonville side.
“We play Casino in first grade and under-19s and I've been told Casino is struggling for numbers,” he said.
“They haven't got a second grade team this season but in saying that ... who knows ... they might have 17 gun players.”