Sport

Stewart, Brown take charge

Phil Stewart and Peter Brown.
Phil Stewart and Peter Brown. Gary Nichols

WHEN Phil Stewart and Peter Brown played for the Ghosts the 10m rule didn't exist and scrums were a contest.

Ice baths were nowhere to be seen and instead of downing a power drink after the match a case of VB was tossed into the middle of the change room to help ease the pain of battle.

Players wore loose-fitting jerseys, some with the collar tucked in, and a weight session comprised of players throwing teammates over their shoulders in a fireman's carry and sprinting the length of the field.

Now we have players so bulked up on weights, when they throw on their playing jumper they resemble a condom choc-full of walnuts.

The two former players have been appointed co-coaches of the Ghosts reserve grade this season and admit rugby league in the modern era has changed dramatically from when they took the field.

"The players have a lot more skill now. When we played it was basically all about fitness," Stewart said.

"Now it's all about drills, techniques, improving your ball skills and running lines.

"The furthest they've sprinted at training is 70m.

"They haven't sprinted 100m yet."

Brown agreed: "They make training a lot easier these days to keep the players happy. It's not boring.

"When we trained there was a lot of head-bashing."

In their playing days Stewart and Brown were hard-nosed forwards who witnessed plenty of illegalities when it came to packing down in the scrum.

"Back then you were allowed to push in the scrum. It was all about winning the ball," Stewart said.

"You used to hear the crunches of heads hitting together. Now they just pat each other and come in gentle."

Brown added: "The hooker had to sit on the prop's inside leg and you never gave the opposition the loosehead.

"If there wasn't any blood coming out of you, you weren't hitting them (opposition) hard enough."

Both coaches admit they're excited about their team's chances this year, and with a strong squad to choose from it could be a breakthrough year for the Ghosts' reserve grade side.

"Just selecting the 13 in reserve grade is going to be hard. But in saying that there's always injuries and players being called on to play first grade," Stewart said.

"I must admit we've got a better squad than last year, so we should go all right."

It's no secret the bane of reserve grade coaches is losing their key players to the top grade, something Brown says goes with the job.

"Our aim is to try to get as many players as possible to have a taste of first grade," he said.

"Because we have so many players, the hardest thing for us will be keeping them keen and happy."

Topics:  grafton ghosts nrrrl peter brown



Unions take to streets as Sunday penalty rates cut

Retail workers will be among those hit by the changes.

Thousands of lowest paid workers to be hit by changes to pay rates

You're invited to help celebrate Col's last day

Col Green from the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club who are having great success with their tribute shows.

South Services secretary-manager retiring

Local Partners

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

Yamba show sounds Crazy

GROOVY POP: Crazy Old Maurice is take to the stage at the Pacific Hotel Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle band to bring the house down in Yamba

Bernard, Kasey, Spooky Men, and more this weekend

Mal Eastick returns with his Blues Bar on Sunday at the Yamba Golf Club.

Touring shows bring mix of genres to Clarence

Duo Hard Drive to rock Clocktower Friday

Hard Drive, Stephen Herbert and Dwayne Doyle, who are playing at the Clocktower Hotel this weekend.

Enjoy Hard Drive at the Clocktower this weekend

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Houses selling like hot cakes

HIGH DEMAND: Maclean Valley 2 Coast principal Ingrid Nott.

Valley's housing market pushed by supply shortage and jobs growth

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!