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



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

How to push your happiness buttons

BRAINY BOOST: Exercise is a natural way to boost your endorphins and happiness.

Manipulating the neurotransmitters that make you feel good.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

The pecan harvest is just beginning, so you will find a good selection at the markets from now. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Pecans and cauliflowers among the new buys, as well as a great tea

Local Partners

Charity has grand plans to help people help themselves

A charity that helps homeless and needy has opened a new shop in a bid to raise money to fund a venture that will feed and skill the very people it supports.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Gig guide: Get the blues in Broadbeach

Russell Morris will perform at The Star Gold Coast as part of Blues on Broadbeach on Friday, May 19

Festival fun and top shelf gigs

Tweed's weekend gig guide

Wally and the Gators play Club Banora on Saturday night

What's on in the Tweed

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

BEN Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day in a joint announcement.

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!