2010 Ghosts in Lower's shadow
COL Speed’s troops may have rival defences baffled but statistics reveal they must maintain their try-happy ways to match Lower Clarence’s Class of 2009.
Making a habit of crossing the line so far this campaign, the Ghosts have notched 272 points from six rounds – an average of 45 per match.
Their water-tight 100 in the conceded column also fares well with the rest of the league.
But in statistics obtained by the Examiner, Lower Clarence sat in a similar position 12 months ago before going on to claim grand final glory.
After seven matches, the Magpies had scored two less points and sat with a comparable points against average (17.1 to 16.7).
But Dallas Waters, the man who guided Lower Clarence to the title last year, says until grand final day, it is impossible to draw parallels between the two sides.
“It’s hard to compare,” he said.
“Grafton have been a competitive side for the past three or four years now. Obviously the Ghosts are leading the competition but now it comes to trying to maintain their lead.”
Waters’ Magpies headed the pack for much of 2009 before a gripping victory against Northern United in the decider.
Speaking from experience, he had one tip for the Ghosts’ heirarchy: don’t get ahead of yourself.
“Last year my focus was to make sure our defence was in order,” Waters said.
“Once we did that we just didn’t look too far ahead and were lucky with keeping our side together.”
Other key information across the 2009 and 2010 ladders include:
The Ghosts sat in fifth in 2009, a mid-table position they would occupy for much of the season;
In 2009 Lower Clarence sat with just one loss, the same number of points accrued in the current campaign;
The fortunes of the Rhinos has not been as dramatic as the Magpies, sliding from sixth to ninth in the current campaign;
Ballina and Marist Brothers are the big movers from last season, jumping from the ladder cellar to a share of second and with real ambitions of title success.
Water admits his side was lucky to avoid crippling injuries, which allowed him to keep the spine of his line-up intact for much of the season.