RUGBY LEAGUE: Half-back, half-magician
RUGBY LEAGUE: Grafton Ghosts recruit Jayden Connors has come into his own in the opening rounds of the 2016 Group 2 season and was a standout in Saturday's 52-10 thumping of Orara Valley .
The halfback was best on ground for the Ghosts inserting himself in every set and orchestrating more than half the Ghosts tries including two of his own.
None were better than the lead up work to Adam Slater's first four-pointer when Connors scooped up a loose offload, spotted a gap through the Axemen defence and exploded into the backfield. Two miraculous offloads later including one from a falling Nick Monckton and Slater was in under the sticks.
Grafton Ghosts president and first grade team manager Joe Kinnane said he was impressed with Connors' efforts and the seamless way he has fitted into the side this year.
"He had an outstanding game against Orara," Kinnane said.
"He is good, he has been impressing since the day he arrived here. He is a class footballer."
Connors has linked well with another Ghosts' recruit this season Nick Monckton with the halves showing a bond that well exceeds their time with the Grafton side.
The pairing's combination began in junior football with both players growing up in Inverell and playing for the same junior club.
"He was a couple of years younger than me but we are pretty close family friends," Nick Monckton said.
Connors brings with him a strong history of league including a year long stint with the Gold Coast Titans Holden Cup side in 2014 before he returned to the bush last year to take the Inverell Hawks to the 2015 Group 19 premiership defeating Moree Boomerangs 26-24 in the grand final.
A move for work commitments to Grafton put Connors squarely on the radar for several local clubs but it was the Ghosts who got him on board at the club.
"We knew he was a good quality footballer from the beginning," Kinnane said
"We can consider ourselves lucky to get Jayden this season.
"I know there were a few clubs chasing his signature."
GRAFTON GHOSTS 52 (Jayden Connors 2, Adam Slater 2, Dylan Collett 2, James Hughes, Jay Olsen, Nick Monckton tries; Connors 7, Ben McLennan goals) def ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 10 (Mal Webster, Steven Walker tries; Ant Cowan goal).
GROUP 2 RESULTS
Grafton Ghosts 52 def Orara Valley Axemen 10
South Grafton Rebels 26 def Nambucca Roosters 22
Coffs Harbour Comets 62 def Bellingen Dorrigo 16
Woolgoolga Seahorses 32 def Macksville Sea Eagles 24
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.
Grafton Ghosts 28 def Orara Valley Axemen 10
South Grafton Rebels 48 def Nambucca Roosters 12
Coffs Harbour Comets 46 def Bellingen Dorrigo 18
Macksville Sea Eagles 40 def Woolgoolga Seahorses 32
Nambucca Roosters 28 def South Grafton Rebels 10
Macksville Sea Eagles 20 def Woolgoolga Seahorses 6