Tom McGrady, Grant Stevens and Hughie Stanley have all been key figures in the South Grafton Rebels lineup over the past decade. Pictures: Matt Elkerton, Debrah Novak
Tom McGrady, Grant Stevens and Hughie Stanley have all been key figures in the South Grafton Rebels lineup over the past decade. Pictures: Matt Elkerton, Debrah Novak

RENOWNED REBELS: South Grafton team of the decade

RUGBY LEAGUE :The South Grafton Rebels are one of the most defiant forces in bush footy.

Some might say they play second fiddle to the Grafton Ghosts, but that rivalry has driven them to spectacular success over the past decade and the players in those sides have produced some mouth-watering moments.

Group 2 Grand Final between the South Grafton Rebels and Grafton Ghosts at McKittrick Park South Grafton on Sunday, 11th September, 2016. Rebels captain Grant Stevens heads out to the field for the start of the grand final.
Group 2 Grand Final between the South Grafton Rebels and Grafton Ghosts at McKittrick Park South Grafton on Sunday, 11th September, 2016. Rebels captain Grant Stevens heads out to the field for the start of the grand final.

The Ghosts may have more premierships under their belt but their southern rivals are just as ferocious at McKirttrick Park in front of their loyal red and white army.

Without further ado, here it is, The Daily Examiner Rebels team of the decade.

1. Roy Bell – The former South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL player and all class. Speed, evasiveness and great hands made him electrifying to watch. Has returned to coach first grade.

2. Tom McGrady – A speed merchant who could craft something out of nothing.

Rebels' young flier Tom McGrady takes off around a defender during the South Grafton Rebels and Coffs Harbour Comets Group 2 major semi-final at McKittrick Park.
Rebels' young flier Tom McGrady takes off around a defender during the South Grafton Rebels and Coffs Harbour Comets Group 2 major semi-final at McKittrick Park.

3. Jay Melrose – Dubbed a “super centre” at the top of his game, Melrose won the Rex Hardaker Memorial Award for being the Group 2 Player of the Year during the 2015 premiership season with the most tries and the best and fairest award that same year.

South Grafton Rebels came up against Orara Valley at McKittrick Park South Grafton. Rebel Jay Melrose with the ball during the match. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
South Grafton Rebels came up against Orara Valley at McKittrick Park South Grafton. Rebel Jay Melrose with the ball during the match. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

4. Dan Randall – Another former Intrust Super Cup player alongside Stanley, Randall put fear into opposition players. A truly intimidating and a ferocious defender.

5. Oral Monaghan – Had both size and speed, the perfect combination.

6. Hughie Stanley (vc) – Skilful five-eighth with great playmaking ability and a tidy kicking game, Stanley was the linchpin of the great Rebels’ sides which won the competition in 2015 and 2016 and is still a leader of the team.

South Grafton Rebels' five eighth Hughie Stanley looks for outside options in their match against the Woolgoolga Seahorses.
South Grafton Rebels' five eighth Hughie Stanley looks for outside options in their match against the Woolgoolga Seahorses.

7. Ant Cowan – Incredibly crafty and loved tight spaces.

8. Xavier Sullivan – Always took on the biggest bloke on the field. A true warrior.

9. Rhys Walters – Walters played more than 200 first grade games with the Rebels including and was instrumental in their back-to-back premierships.

Rebel Rhys Walters with the ball during the first grade rugby league match between the South Grafton Rebels and the Sawtell Panthers at McKittrick Park South Grafton, 10th April, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Rebel Rhys Walters with the ball during the first grade rugby league match between the South Grafton Rebels and the Sawtell Panthers at McKittrick Park South Grafton, 10th April, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

10. Karl Woodley – A hardman through and through. Loved a good battle.

11. Grant Brown – A fiery character, Brown is often causing trouble but you certainly don’t want him on the other team. Can light up any game.

Grant Brown is sent to the sin bin for ten minutes in the Rebels vs Ghosts game at McKittrick Park.
Grant Brown is sent to the sin bin for ten minutes in the Rebels vs Ghosts game at McKittrick Park.

12. Grant Stevens (c) – Still one of the best second rowers in Group 2, Stevens has been a leader at the Rebels for eight years and was at the helm when they won back-to-back premierships in 2015 and 2016.

Rebel Grant Stevens is awarded a try by the ref during the first grade rugby league match between the South Grafton Rebels and the Sawtell Panthers at McKittrick Park South Grafton on 10th April, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Rebel Grant Stevens is awarded a try by the ref during the first grade rugby league match between the South Grafton Rebels and the Sawtell Panthers at McKittrick Park South Grafton on 10th April, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

13. Luke Welch – On-and-off captain over the past few years, Welch puts his body on the line week-in-week-out and has a real “win at any cost” mentality. A valuable player.

14. Dwayne Duke – Mr Fix-it, Duke was a class centre and could also slot into the back row.

15. Jeff Skeen – A real wrecking ball, very little gets in the way of Skeen in full flight.

16. Ben Woods – A true workhorse on the field.

17. Josh Harris – Always gave his all and stayed loyal

18. Nick McGrady – Very talented, could turn any game.

SOUTH GRAFTON’S BEST OF THE DECADE

1. Roy Bell

2. Tom McGrady

3. Jay Melrose

4. Dan Randall

5. Oral Monaghan

6. Hughie Stanley (vc)

7. Ant Cowan

8. Xavier Sullivan

9. Rhys Walters

10. Karl Woodley

11. Grant Brown

12. Grant Stevens (c)

13. Luke Welch

14. Dwayne Duke

15. Jeff Skeen

16. Ben Woods

17. Josh Harris

18. Nick McGrady

How did we do? Tell us your thoughts online at the Clarence Valley Sports Hub Facebook page.



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