Underestimate the Rebels at your own peril

South Grafton Rebels hooker Rhys Walters passes from dummy half against the Sawtell Panthers.
South Grafton Rebels hooker Rhys Walters passes from dummy half against the Sawtell Panthers. Brad Greenshields

IT'S not just about the Grafton Ghosts and Coffs Harbour. South Grafton shouldn't be forgotten when premiership contenders are discussed.

The Rebels scored six tries to one in the second half to run away from Sawtell 48-20.

The margin could've been even greater if centre Aaron Taylor kicked more than two conversions from his seven attempts.

Rebels captain Grant Stevens said the reigning premier may be missing some players through injury but he expects his team to be right in the thick of the action when the whips are cracking during the semis.

"They wrote us off two years in a row and we won the comp two years in a row," Stevens said.

"They can write us off all they want, hopefully we'll be there at the end of the year."

Will South Grafton Rebels win a third straight Group 2 title in 2017?

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The win, combined with Coffs Harbour's 28-12 loss to the Grafton Ghosts in today's top of the table clash sees the Rebels draw level with Coffs Harbour on 23 points in the race for second spot.

While NSW selectors might be wondering about who the Blues halfback should be next year after losing yet another Origin series, there's no such worries at South Grafton.

Today's victory at Rex Hardaker Oval was built on the back of a masterclass from the Rebels diminutive number seven Kayan Davis.

The simple fact that he scored a hat-trick was enough to see him be the man of the match but Davis's performance was more than that.

Thanks to a deft kicking game from Davis, Sawtell was forced to start so many of its sets with its backs close to the try line.

Dominating field position, particularly after the break, resulted in Austin Cooper scoring a double in the centres while Jeff Skeen was a cannonball close to the tryline to score two tries of his own.

SOUTH GRAFTON REBELS 48 (Kayan Davis 3, Jeff Skeen 2, Austin Cooper 2, Anthony Skinner, Rhys Walters, Luke Welch tries; Aaaron Taylor 2, Nick McGrady 2 goals) def SAWTELL PANTHERS 20 (Robert Brilley 2, Luke Serevi, Chris Watkins tries; Locky Miller 2 goals).
Grafton Ghosts def Coffs Harbour 28-12
Orara Valley def Macksville 26-12

Topics:  clarence league country rugby league group 2 rex hardaker oval rugby league sawtell panthers south grafton rebels

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