Roosters start to crow, Rebels remain unbeaten
GROUP 2: Don't be surprised if Nambucca Heads rise from the scrap heap to ruffle a few feathers in Group 2 Rugby League this season.
Second last heading into Sunday's encounter with Coffs Harbour Comets, the Roosters turned it on against last year's grand finalists to win 28 to 22.
"It came down to determination and guts and a will to win more than anything," Roosters captain Matt Field said.
"It was a pretty sloppy game, but we wanted it more on the day.
"We weren't on top on the scoreboard at half-time but physically we were all over them and it was just a matter of hanging onto the ball and getting it across the line."
Field said the inspired victory at Geoff King Motors Oval was the start of things to come for the Roosters in an ominous warning shot to the rest of the competition.
"Our season started last week," he said. "We proved it last year when we only lost one game in the second half of the season and we're back to do it again."
The Roosters now have two wins in a row after beating Woolgoolga Seahorses 32-28 last week. The mid-season form turnaround mirrors the club's feats of 2015 when they progressed all the way to the third week of the finals to finish third.
Rebels finish first half of season unbeaten
Meanwhile, South Grafton Rebels will enjoy two weeks off after successfully rounding an undefeated first half of the season with a 46 to 24 win away to Bellingen Dorrigo Magpies.
Rebels overcame a lengthy casualty ward as well as several players carrying injuries into the match and the general bye followed bye a round nine bye could not have come at a better time.
"We knew it was going to be a tough one, with four guys out and a few guys playing with injury," Rebels coach Ron Gordon said.
"You couldn't wipe the smile off their faces after that game, knowing they had gone through the first round undefeated."
The scoreline could have been a lot bigger for the Rebels, with kicker Jade Duroux having an off day with the boot in the heavy conditions.
"We scored ten tries, but Jade didn't have the best time with his muddy boots," Gordon said. "He kicked nine from ten last week and this week two from ten."
Duroux did cross the chalk twice, however, for a try-scoring double. So too Nick McGrady.
But Gordon saved the bulk of his praise for prop forward Karl Woodley, who came into the starting line up for injured Ben Woods and shouldering a major workload in the absence of fellow forwards Grant Stevens and Grant Brown.
"Karl Woodley got man of the match," Gordon said.
"He was really good and got through a lot of work and made inroads all day. Luke Welch was also outstanding."
Gordon was surprised by the good playing conditions at Bellingen Park.
Meanwhile, Woolgoolga Sports Ground also presented surprisingly well in Grafton Ghosts' comprehensive 40 to 22 win over the Seahorses.
Who will win the 2016 Group 2 Rugby League First Grade Premiership?
This poll ended on 15 August 2016.
South Grafton Rebels
Coffs Harbour Comets
Nambucca Heads Roosters
Macksville Sea Eagles
Orara Valley Axemen
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.