South Grafton captain-coach has identified his Lower Clarence Magpies opposite number Ryan Binge as a definite threat.
South Grafton captain-coach has identified his Lower Clarence Magpies opposite number Ryan Binge as a definite threat.

Another derby for Rebels, this time it's the Magpies

THE SECOND Clarence Valley derby of the season will highlight round two of the NRRRL, with South Grafton Rebels hosting Lower Clarence Magpies.

Both teams suffered heavy defeats in the first round and were anchored to the bottom of the table based on points differential.

It sets up an intriguing McKittrick Park battle, with both teams keen to open their accounts for the season.

Magpies coach Ricky Binge said his team had recovered well from their 36-10 loss to Kyogle Turkeys.

"We haven't made too many changes this week as there was no need to panic," Binge said.

"Kyogle were the better team on the day and performed well - we just need to make sure we play smarter.

"The boys trained hard during the week and should be ready for the Rebels."

South Grafton are heading into the game a little worse for wear, and are reeling after the loss of captain-coach Grant Stevens to a knee injury.

Aaron Martin's suspension leaves the Rebels without two of their strike weapons, but Stevens believes his team can get the job done.

In a late boost for the side, Rhys Walters is expected to be cleared to play for the Rebels after a ruling from the CRL late last night.

"I think the boys should go all right tomorrow," Stevens said.

"They looked good at training during the week and are combining together pretty well."

Ben Woods will take over Stevens' captaincy but the injured second-rower will remain coach for the rest of the year.

About six players left the Magpies to link with the reborn South Grafton club and Stevens said they would all be keen to get a win over their former club.

Binge said he harboured no ill feelings against the players, and his team would simply play their own game.

"There are a few of them but we hold no spite over them leaving," Binge said.

"We're not going to go out and target them. We have our own things to work on and get right so we will play our own game."

Ryan Binge and Andrew Kapeen were identified by Stevens as threats, and could face extra attention from the Rebels.

"Ryan can be one of the best front rowers on his day but he can't do it all himself," Stevens said.

"Andrew is a pretty damaging player as well so they'll have to keep an eye on him."

While the Magpies wouldn't name any key Rebel players, Woods and Dwayne Duke will be key to their first victory.

Duke was in everything in the Rebels' loss to Grafton Ghosts last week, while Woods won't be too far off the pace.

If you can't make it to the game, follow @MMcInerney89 on Twitter for live coverage.

The main game kicks off at 2:45pm.



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