Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

{Ghosts Claim Bragging Rights } {Ghosts Take Derby}

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

{Ghosts Claim Bragging Rights } {Ghosts Take Derby}

Article excerpt

Byline: Quinn Jones

THE Grafton Ghosts have sent out a dangerous calling card for its Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League rivals after claiming an aggressive and passionate local league derby with a 21-point second-half display at McKittrick Park yesterday.

Against a pumped up and physical Grafton Rhinos side, the Ghosts players proved there was nothing they could not do, or could not withstand, as they took control midway through the second half to post a 33-20 score line.

Apart from a messy opening 20 minutes, it was nearly the perfect game for the Ghosts which scored five tries and booted five conversions, one penalty and, just for good measure, one field goal.

"We're not always a boring and bland side," Ghosts first grade coach Col Speed joked.

"It was a slow start, I just think we didn't show a lot of patience.

"We were beating ourselves pretty well in the first half but I was always confident we could turn that around."

However, to focus solely on an impressive Ghost performance would be a discredit to a never-say-die Rhinos squad which snatched the lead three times before succumbing as the sun set on the second stanza of the derby.

"Last 20 minutes we pretty much played with 13 men ... we had an injured bench," Rhinos captain/coach Xavier Sullivan said.

"Towards the end we were both (sides) out on our feet.

"It was very physical."

Indeed, the hard tackles and bone-crunching encounters were what had the fans on their feet for most of the game, especially in the opening five minutes as both packs sought to dominate the game.

It was not surprising then, the opening try was a by-product of an over-zealous infringement.

Deep in enemy territory, the ball found its way into Aaron Hartmann's hands, who drew the defence before sending the ball out to Carson Galloway who scored in the corner.

The Rhinos then laid siege to the Ghosts line, finally rewarded out wide with the impressive Dwayne Duke adding to his equally impressive early season tally of tries. …

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