SOLID FIRST TEST: South Grafton Rebels Mike Rigg impressed coach Craig Yougjohns in his maiden start with the first grade side against the Orara Valley Axemen at McKittrick Park on Sunday.
SOLID FIRST TEST: South Grafton Rebels Mike Rigg impressed coach Craig Yougjohns in his maiden start with the first grade side against the Orara Valley Axemen at McKittrick Park on Sunday. Adam Hourigan

Young Rigg impresses in strong start for Rebels

RUGBY LEAGUE: Under-18 South Grafton Rebels product Mikey Rigg made his starting bow with the first grade side on Sunday and the youngster impressed with a solid performance in a gritty 34-24 win over the Orara Valley Axemen.

Rebels coach Craig Youngjohns had utilised Rigg off the bench in past games but he was pleased with his first start in the senior squad and praised his efforts going both ways.

"He stepped up from the under-18's and he had a great game playing in the centres,” said Youngjohns.

"His defence was excellent.”

Youngjohns has been keeping an eye on Rigg and it was only a matter of time before he made his debut in a starting role for South Grafton.

"Mikey is a quality player with a really good future ahead of him. He enjoyed playing in the centres, we spoke about it before the game and he told me that was where he wanted to be, he said.

"He put his hand up and made the most of the opportunity.”

The Rebels have been struggling with injury troubles in recent weeks but another squad member thriving in an altered role on Sunday was Hugh Stanley who has taken to the playmaking role in the absence of key five eighth Grant Brown.

STEPPING UP: South Grafton Rebels man Hugh Stanley stepped back into his familiar five-eighth role in the absence of Grant Brown on Sunday.
STEPPING UP: South Grafton Rebels man Hugh Stanley stepped back into his familiar five-eighth role in the absence of Grant Brown on Sunday. Matthew Elkerton

"Hugh took over at five-eighth and it's a position he's very familiar with after playing there earlier in the season but he did a great job in there against Orara and he controlled around the edges really well.”

Youngjohns is hoping to see some more players maturing in the near future and a trip to the last placed Bellingen Valley/Dorrigo Magpies on Sunday could be a good chance to provide them that platform to progress.

"We'll see what pans out but it's a good opportunity to give the younger guys a go,” he said.



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