Roosters defeat South Grafton Rebels in a tight finish at Coronation Park

Nambucca Roosters first grade player Riley Mylrea is wrapped up by defenders.

CLEAR blue skies, a gentle breeze from the south west and the ground slightly softened from rain the day prior resulted in perfect conditions for rugby league at Coronation Park on Sunday when the Nambucca Roosters met the South Grafton Rebels in an absolutely riveting game of first grade football.

The game began with the level of intensity expected when these two quality outfits meet.

Both sides were plagued by poor completions early in the game, which put an end to some powerful attempts to get points on the board.

It was twelve minutes before the scoreboard started to move thanks to a concerted piece of attacking play by the Roosters, working the ball right across the paddock and repeating super quick play-the-balls that the Demons were not ready for.

The rapid action and good hands got Jack Margetts across the line, converted by Tyronne Roberts Davis to take the score to 6-0.

It only took the visitors three minutes to answer with a Conrad Lardner try, successfully converted to even the scores.

With possession favouring the Rebels, they showed a marked ability to offload late in the tackle.

Lardner soon scored again, his second try of the day, this time not converted.

The see-sawing for points continued three minutes later when a cracking line break and dummy pass by Toby Batten got Brody Simon in perfect position to burst across the line.

The try was not converted and the score remained even at 10-10.

In the final ten minutes of the half Khan Jarrett won the contest for a spilled ball and offloaded to Willy Baker for a try.

The visitors fought back strongly and, with two minutes left in the half, quick hands got the ball from one wing to the other for a try.

The conversion put the visitors in front at the break, 16-14.

The battle for dominance resumed again in the second half and it took ten minutes, with decisions tilted against the home side, for the Rebels to score again and pull away from the Roosters, 20-14.

The home side had two valiant attempts at the line, both which were disallowed.

With fifteen minutes left to play, the large Nambucca home crowd were feeling some concern.

The majority of the second half had been injury heavy and South Grafton’s defence appeared too strong for the Roosters to take the lead.

With ten minutes left on the game a gusty piece of running football by Dane Saunders ended in a perfectly timed offload to Jay Melrose, who smashed the Rebels defensive line for a try.

The conversion by Roberts Davis was successful, leveling the game at 20-20.

With the game in the balance and three minutes left to play, a high tackle on Nambucca’s Khan Jarrett in front of the posts, and well within striking distance, resulted in an easy penalty kick for Roberts Davis.

The Roosters won 22-20 in a finish that had spectators form both camps on their feet.

The minor grades were also great games of rugby league.

South Grafton won the Under 18s contest with the Roosters playing a man down for a large part of the game and frustration getting the better of the young side.

Decisions trended against the Roosters in this game and they would likely admit that they did not play their best football on the day.

The Women’s Tackle game lived up to expectations with two evenly matched sides eager to win another game.

Most of the first half went by without any points on the board however the Nambucca girls were on top at half time, 10-6.

The Rebels were particularly strong in defence and were reading the Roosters attack well, keeping them scoreless in the second half and taking the win back to South Grafton 14-10.

The Reserve Grade matchup was also an entertaining game, the game locked up at half time 10-10.

The Roosters broke the deadlock in a second half in an attacking game that left the visiting defenders in disarray.

The Roosters Reggies clocking up a dominant win in a great game of footy, the score 28-10.


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