Best of best


IT's time to stick the neck out by naming, as suggested last week, the players who I thought were the best around this region during my career.

Toughest Opponent: Mark McIntyre (Sth Grafton) a big, mobile prop, very tough.

Toughest Team-mate: Craig Whitby/Des Maher (Marist Bros) can't split them, neither really big, but when the going got tough the better they got.

Best Referee: Peter O'Connor, enjoyed being reffed by 'Pencil'. Apart from my wife, he's the only person to tell me I was wrong every time. Mutual respect.

Fastest Player: Scott Lattimer, played winger in our Bros '92 premiership side, any half-breaks were tries because no one could get near him.

Favourite Ground: Mullumbimby, I love crowd participation and there is always plenty up there. Also, it's where I played my last game of footy. Good people!

Least Favourite Ground: Kyogle Show Ground, I found a horseshoe out on the field during one game and you also had to share the showers with the opposition.

Best Try-scorer: Jordan Krause. Last year in our house we had a try-scoring competition. I scored 12, my oldest son Mitchell got 20 and Jordan, my youngest son, got 73. Even Latta couldn't match that.

Best Opponent: Lindsay Bowne (who later played with Cronulla) Enjoyed the challenge, big, fast, brought out the best in me.

Hardest Hitter: Graham O'Grady, former Sydney star who played with South Lismore in early 90s. I only ran at him once. Let's say I learned my lesson.

Funniest Team-mate: Craig Hodges (current Bros coach). Very talented player who always had us in stitches, much to Woodsy's scorn. His refereeing at training was a classic.

A special mention should go to Des Maher, but most of us laughed at him, not with him.

He also collected team-mates' clothing as a hobby.

Best Player: Paul Latta, seen him progress from cocky 18-year-old to the best player to play in this area in the past 20 years. Nothing he can't do or hasn't done.

Best Coach: Mick Woods, whose record speaks for itself. Leaves no stone unturned. The most passionate Rugby League person I have ever seen. Will coach in the NRL.

Gutsy Brethren

IN one of the the gutsiest performances by a Bros team in years, Marist Brothers on Sunday ended Tweed Seagulls unbeaten run with a hard fought 16-14 win.

When I went into the dressing rooms after the game I received a ribbing from the boys because of criticism of them in this column. I believe any criticism has been justified.

The efforts last weekend against Seagulls showed what the side is capable of.

I'll change that C ranking to an A after last Sunday.

(Good to see they read this column!).

Murwillumbah now sit alone on top of the NRRRL ladder and now control their own destiny as far as the minor premiership goes. They have a few easy games leading into the Mullumbimby game next month, this game should be one of the games of the season. I may even venture up to this match because it will be good to see if their crowd is hostile to everyone, or was it just me?

Junior league

ANOTHER big weekend of junior league around the region.

I found myself in Grafton on Saturday where I witnessed some great footy (also great to see young girls running around).

On Saturday (July 2), Ballina is hosting a mini-mod carnival (Under 7-12), great days for the kids and a chance to the future stars running round.

Anyone who wants to see a good hard game of footy should get along to Ballina tomorrow night at 6.30 to see the Marist Brothers side take on the Ballina boys.

There is a great rivalry between these two clubs and these guys are at an age where it is starting to get pretty fair dinkum.

Leaders in each age group are: Ballina in the Under 10s and 11s, Grafton in the Under 12s, Marist Bros in the Under 13s, South Grafton in the Under 15s and Kyogle in the Under 14s and 16s.

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