Nambucca Roosters dominate Grafton in clean sweep at Coronation Park Nambucca Valley Sport Property/Sports/Opinion - popup ad Sport by News Of The Area - Modern Media - June 8, 2023 Leroy Buchanan was impressive in attack. THE Nambucca Roosters hosted the Grafton Ghosts on Saturday for what was the most evenly matched fight for a win seen at Coronation Park for many years. With Tyronne Roberts-Davis out with a shoulder injury, there was much interest to see how the Roosters would perform without him for the first time since the pre-season trials. Both teams showed strong form in attack and defence from the start and, despite Roosters having the lion share of possession early, the visitors held their line. Fullback Robbie Smith injected himself superbly into every facet of the game and when he was sent off for a high tackle at the 17 minute mark, with the game still scoreless, it seemed that the scales would now tip in Grafton’s favour. The tug-o-war to get points on the board continued for the rest of the half and the Roosters’ discipline in defence with a man down was first-rate. The even tussle continued into the second half however Grafton’s defence finally caved-in during a lengthy period being held close to the line and Beau Langford crossed for a try 50 minutes into the game, converted by Jai Waddy. It only took Grafton four minutes to answer the Nambucca try and the game was tied-up six points each 15 minutes into the half. The deadlock continued with both teams playing great footy until a perfectly placed chip-kick by Robbie Smith put Dane Saunders across the line and, once again, Jai Waddy was successful with the boot. It was a grandstand finish to the game with the Ghosts getting themselves in a good position to score in the closing minutes. A collective sigh of relief echoed over Coronation Park at the sound of the full-time bell and the large crowd applauded an absolutely cracking game of rugby league, Roosters winning 12-6. The Reserve Grade match was not as even and the visitors had no reply to the Roosters who came onto the paddock with their game in order, making it to half time with 30 points on the board while keeping Grafton scoreless. In the second stanza Grafton lifted, particularly in defence, and with the exception of some impressive Roosters line-breaks, the home side was held in their own half for a long period. At 59 minutes into the game Grafton were able to cross the line and, with four minutes left on the clock, the Roosters were able to cross the line once more. Kaji Buchanan’s ability to bust through the Grafton left edge gave the fans something to crow about and the game wrapped up at 36-4 in favour of the Roosters. The most entertaining game of the day was the U/18 clash where the young Roosters finished up victors, beating Grafton 16-10. It was hard to find fault in Nambucca’s defence, never being drawn into an overlap, however the penalty count took the gloss of this effort somewhat. In the second half the quality of the Roosters attacking game caught up with their defensive play, seeing less penalties and a better completion rate. U/18s Coach Geoff Batten told News Of The Area, “Their effort during this game was unbelievable however our discipline needs work.” The other game on the day was the ladies tackle with the Roosters hosting Sawtell. Unfortunately Nambucca were unable to pick up a win, going down to Sawtell; however the girls continue to improve with each game. By Mick BIRTLES U/18s player Jayie Langford outpaces the Grafton defence. U/18s player Lystan Scott is wrapped up by Grafton defence. David Marchant was a problem for Grafton’s defence. Tahn Smith Makes serious metres during a great game of league. Nambucca Roosters Reserve Grade player Kaji Buchanan broke through Grafton’s defence repeatedly. Tahn Smith takes on a rigid Grafton defensive line. Nambucca Rooster Khan Jarrett is taken down by Grafton Ghost’s defence in the thrilling First Grade clash at Coronation Park on Saturday.