Sport

Mustangs can reign

Lynden Murphy on the boil. The tall prop forward is poised to have a big one against arch-rivals Grafton Ghosts in tomorrow's major semi-final at Murwillumbah's Stan Sercombe Oval.
Lynden Murphy on the boil. The tall prop forward is poised to have a big one against arch-rivals Grafton Ghosts in tomorrow's major semi-final at Murwillumbah's Stan Sercombe Oval. Scott Powick

THE strength of the 2012 Murwillumbah squad can be gauged in the four men who will initially sit on the bench when the Mustangs host defending premiers, Grafton Ghosts, in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League major semi-final at Stan Sercombe Oval tomorrow.

All four men - Lionel Foster, Shaun Dorney, Michael Keating and Sam Ross - would be automatic first-team selections in any other side in the competition.

The winner of tomorrow's 2.45pm clash will host the grand final on Sunday, September 2, while the loser will next week play at home against the winner of today's minor semi-final between Byron Bay and Ballina at the Bay's Red Devil Park.

Mustangs coach, Troy McLean, is "quietly confident" his team will take the short route in the game that matters.

"We will take just so many positives into the game," McLean said.

"We have every player in the squad available, all of them are fully fit, we have worked the place down at training over the past fortnight and well, just have a look at the bench players - we are blessed with a tremendous depth in quality footballers."

McLean also says the long trek down to Grafton to watch the Ghosts beat Byron Bay in last Sunday's qualifying final was worth the effort.

"The Bay looked a bit flat but nothing can be taken away from the Ghosts' win," McLean said.

"They played really well and certainly look determined to retain their title.

"Their two 'go-to' men, big second-rowers, Ryan Danvers and Aaron Hartmann, had great games and the back three were very good at running back the ball.

"Hartmann and Danvers worked the edges of the rucks by running at the smaller blokes and that is something we have worked at countering at training this week.

"I picked up a couple of areas in their play which we can exploit."

Such as?

"Ask no questions, get told no lies," McLean quipped.

This really is a formidable Mustangs squad - rock-solid backs and big, powerful and skilful forwards who can rip any defence apart.

The return of Luke Covell to the team has pushed Sam Ross on to the bench but Covell was always a laydown misere to return to the starting line-up once fully recovered from knee surgery.

Covell's class, experience and will-to-win will inspire his fellow pigs to put-in against a pack which was not down the back of the queue when toughness and skills were being handed out.

I am expecting a big game from towering prop Lynden Murphy whom, whilst playing well, has not shown the rip-snorting form of 2012 but that can be put down to a few other forwards stepping up to the mark to take on the workload.

The bench gives McLean plenty of options in resting players - Keating will at some time slot into the centres with Damien Quinn moving into the backrow - that allows McLean to fully utilise his forward replacements.

Other key men for the Mustangs will be five-eighth, Matt Goodfellow and rampaging second-rower, Tim James.

James has been on fire all season and his blockbusting runs close to opposition tryline haas earned him 19 touchdowns.

Goodfellow's long kicking game will be of vital importance in keeping the Ghosts penned down deep in their own half when starting their sets.

Mustangs line-up

1 Dylan Smith

2 Troy Macarthur

3 Caleb Howell

4 Damien Quinn

5 Michael Forrester

6 Matt Goodfellow

7 Nathan Jordan (c)

8 Lynden Murphy

9 Sam Panting

10 Shane Kight

11 Luke Covell

12 Tim James

13 Jarred Flick

Bench: 14 Lionel Foster 15 Shaun Dorney 16 Michael Keating 17 Sam Ross

 

FINALS ACTION

Today, Red Devil Park, Byron Bay

Minor Semi-Finals

Under-18: 11.30am, Ballina v Marist Brothers.

Reserves: 1pm, Northern United v Murwillumbah

A-grade: 2.45pm, Byron Bay v Ballina

Tomorrow: Stan Sercombe Oval, Murwillumbah

Major Semi-finals

Under-18:11.30am, Mullumbimby v Grafton Ghosts

Reserve Grade: 1pm, Mullumbimby v Grafton Ghosts

A-grade: 2.45pm, Murwillumbah v Grafton Ghosts

Gates open 9.30am. Entry $8 adults, kids under 16 free.

Topics:  murwillumbah mustangs nrrrl rugby league sports tweed



School's out as 50,000 NSW teachers stop work

About 50,000 state school teachers across NSW will stop work on Thursday morning for a salary vote.

Minimal supervision will still be available as 50,000 teachers vote

Tweed sport in brief

Cabarita's Sophia Fulton finished runner-up for a national surfing title on Saturday.

Weekend sport action

MT WARNING: Rescues show just how dangerous it can be

Therese Krix of Bray Park captured this picture of a misty Mt Warning.

Emergency services executed 14 rescue missions in six years

Local Partners

Joy of Christmas goes up in lights

Which house on the Tweed has the best Christmas?


Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Cooly sings out for carols

Santa gets ready to skydive into the Coolangatta Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 13. Photo: Scott Powick Daily News

Santa dropping in for Christmas Carols at Coolangatta

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!