Rodda's ear mangled in tackle

KNEE complaints, back strains, pulled muscles and broken hands are all common injuries suffered by Clarence Valley Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) players.

Now you can add ear injury.

Grafton Rhinos forward Brad Rodda's ear was mangled in a tackle against the Evans Head Bombers on Saturday.

Rodda's ear, described as 'hanging by a thread' by Rhinos captain-coach Xavier Sullivan, required eight stitches and may force the second-rower to sit out the next couple of weeks.

Apart from Rodda's injury, Sullivan said the squad had returned to the Valley unscathed after a much-improved performance.

“It was a lot better, better structure, better movement,” Sullivan said.

The Rhinos players did fall away during the second half, recalling memories of the second half nightmare against Byron Bay, but to the squad's credit continued to play aggressive football.

“When we slackened off against Byron we just waved the white flag,” Sullivan said.

“This time we were far more intense.”

Lower Clarence Magpies captain-coach Dallas Waters was also pleased with his squad's 44-12 thumping of Casino on Sunday.

The victory was slightly marred with injury concerns for Scott Laffey (lower back) and Luke Faul (knee), but both are expected to take their place against Mullumbimby on May 10.

There were no such problems for Grafton Ghosts first grade coach Col Speed.

Not only did his side thrash Kyogle 52-18, but they escaped with no injuries, including star centre Aaron Hartmann, who made a surprise and successful return from a hand injury, scoring two tries.

Hartmann and four other Ghosts players - captain Ryan Farrell, Nat Sewell, Ben McLennan and Dan Roberts - will turn out for the Northern Thunderbolts at this weekend's country carnival. Hartmann had been ruled out of the rep clash, but informed team officials of his intention to play late last week.

Speed said for the remainder of the squad, this weekend's bye would be a good time for a rest.

“This week we will get a bit of variety in training,” he said.

“It's a good time for us to assess where we are at in the season.”

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