Runaway train: Grafton’s star Danny Wicks breaks through the defence against Kyogle Turkeys at McGuren Oval on Saturday.
Runaway train: Grafton’s star Danny Wicks breaks through the defence against Kyogle Turkeys at McGuren Oval on Saturday.

Turkeys ham it up against Ghosts

DISGRACEFUL is the only way to describe Kyogle’s failure to return to the field for the last quarter.

Confusion reigned at Frank McGurren Park on Saturday in the match between Grafton Ghosts and the Kyogle Turkeys.

With the score at 66-6 at three-quarter time the Turkeys said they simply had enough and refused to return to the field for the final stanza.

When asked why Kyogle captain and coach Don Walker said ‘his side were out off their feet and had enough at the three-quarter mark in the game’.

“The boys didn’t want to return to the field... they were more interested in getting on the bus and having a beer,” Walker said.

A rampant Ghosts outfit trampled the visitors in a one-sided affair in sweltering conditions.

The game resembled a game of touch as the Kyogle team’s lack of defence and structure gave the Ghosts little more than a training run.

Anthony Don at fullback was at his best slicing through the feeble defence and at times toying with the opposition.

The forward pack led by Ben McLennan was superb and with former Newcastle Knight Danny Wicks running on the edges the Turkeys’ defence - or lack of it - was continually on the back foot.

The Turkeys only managed two line-breaks in the match, both coming from intercepts. The Ghosts relentless bruising defence proving too much for Kyogle and at times you could have thrown a blanket over the entire side as fatigue set in.

Ghosts coach Col Speed, who after the game was understandably bemused by the opposition’s decision to call it quits, said it was still a challenge for his side even though the scoreboard indicated differently

“I think playing a team like that is pretty challenging. There was a lot of stop-start and loose defence but the challenge for us was to stick to our game plan and structure,” he said.

“I think we got back on track after our last game against Evans Head and a few of our senior players stepped up.

“We worked on a few plays after the game against Evans and it came together on the day.”

McLennan was arguably the pick of the forwards and according to Speed is improving with each game.

“Ben set the standard at pre-season and he’s gone up another level and today he raised the bar again. He’s aggressive, he’s playing some good footy and he loves it in the middle,” Speed said.

Speed was also full of praise for his new Don had who had the fans on their feet with every touch of the ball.

“Anthony is very elusive and patient at the back and a very good footballer,” he said.

The crowd were given a fright in the second quarter when star left-centre Aaron Hartmann slumped to the ground clutching his left leg.

Hartmann was given an early rest by Speed due to cramps, a result of a hard training hit-out for the Northern representative team earlier that morning.

“I must question the training schedule of the representative training. Aaron had to go and train at Lismore this morning and he came back and played for us. He is one of our star players so you have to question the timing,” he said.



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