Trojans suffer after 'cheap shot'
A NASTY gash to the forehead of Grafton Redmen forward Beau Brotherson proved costly as Lennox Head stormed home in the second-half to record a stirring 46-24 victory.
Brotherson was split open after the interval from an alleged cheap shot from a Lennox Head player, and from that moment on the Redmen were more interested in ‘getting square' than playing footy.
After a rousing display in the first-half, the home side let themselves down with ill-discipline as the Trojans' outside backs took advantage of a wealth of possession.
After matching the Far North Coast premiership favourites in the first half, the Redmen struggled as the Trojans' second-half onslaught realised 27 points.
Grafton captain/coach Brad Lloyd – who was one of the Redmen's best on the day – said the incident involving Brotherson was a huge turning point in the game.
“Our discipline ended up costing us in the second-half,” Lloyd said after the match.
“They (Lennox) came out like good sides do and stuck it to us, and we weren't switched on.
“We gave away a lot of silly penalties after Beau got split.
"A few boys saw what happened and weren't overly happy with the way the referee handled the situation.
“But that's footy.
"We went from playing good footy to looking for ‘get squares'.”
The Redmen forwards dominated the early exchanges and although they didn't claim the ultimate spoils they were probably the better side in the opening stanza.
And the much-anticipated clash between opposing centres Dwayne Duke and Sam Stewart was a cracker.
The NSW Country inside-centre was overshadowed by the Redmen powerhouse who bagged three tries against arguably the best centre combination in the competition.
“In the first-half I thought we played the best football we've played all season,” Lloyd said.
“We're improving every week but it's an 80-minute game.
"When you play the top sides you have to be switched on for the whole game.
“I thought Dukey showed his class out there today.
"Just because some of these guys (Lennox Head) play for Country doesn't mean they're better than us.
“Dukey crossed for three tries.
"If their centre is that good he'd be playing in Sydney.”
Apart from Lloyd and Duke, Redmen fullback Kyle Hancock was simply superb at the back, scoring a wonderful individual try and remaining cool under pressure.
The Redmen's next game is away to the powerful Lismore side who were narrowly defeated by Ballina 12-11 on Saturday.