Defence the key for Ghosts
CONCEDING only one try in a half of football while running into a strong southerly pleased Grafton Ghosts captain-coach Danny Wicks more than five they scored.
"The defence was a bit of a focus for us," Wicks said.
"Obviously with the heavy track, coming down here and scoring a few points is a bonus but the main thing was limiting as many of their points as possible."
Running with a strong wind in the first half, the Ghosts opened up a 22-4 lead at the break but Sawtell was still in the contest.
Panthers' captain-coach Matt Wakefield was sure his team could conjure a come from behind victory but he didn't envisage the number of errors the home team would make in the second stanza.
"We just kept giving the ball back to them. Too many silly mistakes," Wakefield said.
"You can't give a side like Grafton all of those opportunities. We just kept turning the ball over in our own half and consequently they got the roll on and kept scoring tries."
Before winger Tom Sanders scored a late try late in the contest, the Ghosts scored 26 unanswered points in the second half before running out comfortable 48-10 victors.
An interesting aside to the contest was the Ghosts debut by former international and proud Sawtell junior Clint Greenshields.
Having spent most of his carrer in the NRL and English Super League at fullback, the 35 year-old slipped into the number six jersey such is the high regard the club has for Mitch Lollback's ability at the back.
Greenshields admitted playing in the halves will take some getting used to.
"It's very strange because I haven't played at six since I was about 17," he said.
"I think I had maybe two or three games for Saints when I went there but fullback was my spot from then.
"I find it a bit easier because obviously the pace of the game is a bit slower here, I've got more time to get some breath back and control the game a little bit more."
In today's other match Coffs Harbour was too strong for Bellingen winning 54-16 while last night Orara Valley failed to score a point in its first match of the season after having the bye in the first round.
Nambucca Heads ran away from the Axemen to win 42-0.
GRAFTON GHOSTS 48 (Dylan Collett 2, Danny Wicks 2, Mitch Lollback, Joel Moss, Clint Greenshields, Jake Frame, Todd Cameron tries; Matt Muller 6 goals) def SAWTELL PANTHERS 10 (Luke Serevi, Tom Sanders tries; Lachie Miller goal)
Who will win the 2017 Group 2 Rugby League title?
This poll ended on 09 August 2017.
Coffs Harbour Comets
Macksville Sea Eagles
Nambucca Heads Roosters
Orara Valley Axemen
South Grafton Rebels
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.