RUGBY LEAGUE: South Grafton Rebels coach Ron Gordon has questioned several 50/50 refereeing decisions in his side’s 38-12 home thumping of the Nambucca Heads Roosters.
The coach was left dismayed after senior official Nathan Grace adjudicated a penalty count which weighed heavily in Nambucca Heads favour.
“Again I thought we were hard done by as far as fifty-fifty calls,” Gordon said after the match. “I mean were not getting fifty-fifty calls when we are away and were not getting them when we are at home.
“It gets to a point where it is very frustrating because our boys are being penalised for hard work, and they’re being penalised when they’re doing the right thing.
“Today I think a lot of the calls went the wrong way. I think there was a lot of them were questionable.”
Gordon made an effort not to single out Grace himself, but said it was a blanket issue the Rebels have faced all season with referees.
“The amount of times referees are pulling our boys up for silly stuff around the marker work and then letting teams get away with it two minutes later, it is just a joke,” he said.
“All you want is a fair game, that is all you want. I just think a lot of the times because we are the premiers of last year, I think referees are giving fifty-fifty calls away from us.”
Luckily for the Rebels the imbalanced penalty count did not factor too heavily in the result of the game, with the home side running in seven tries to two at McKittrick Park.
It was a comprehensive defensive effort from the Rebels, who leaked one try each half despite Nambucca Heads having a barrage of possession on the Rebels try line.
Luke Welch, Grant Stevens and Rhys Walters got through a mammoth workload in the middle of the field while prop forwards Karl Woodley and Ben Woods carted the ball up with gusto.
“Today was probably the most impressive performance from our boys I thought all season,” Gordon said.
“We have been talking all season about going to that next level and I think the boys found it today.
“The way the boys played today and the attitude they took out on to the field with them for the full 80 minutes, it was something special to be a part of.”
The home side’s tactic to call up Tom McGrady in place of Jade Duroux to shut down Roosters attacking weapon Jay Melrose worked a treat for the home side but it had an unexpected downfall.
Missing Duroux had the Rebels at a loss with conversions, with at least four different players having unsuccessful cracks at the posts before the regular goal kicker joined the fray late in the half.
Duroux went on to kick three from three attempts in the closing stages of the match as the home side put the result out of question.
South Grafton Rebels 38 (Tom McGrady 3, Grant Stevens, Oral Monaghan, Theeran Pearson 2, Karl Woodley tries; Jade Duroux 3goals) def Nambucca Heads Roosters 12 (Hayden Strong, Jay Melrose tries; Cameron Blair, Andrew Blair goals)
AROUND THE GROUNDS
Grafton Ghosts 38 (Dylan Collett 3, Mitch Gorman 2, Ryan Binge, Adam Slater tries; Jayden Connors 5 goals) def Orara Valley Axemen 26 (Nathan Davis 2, Richie Roberts, Edward Vale-Tighe, Jeremy Taylor tries; Ant Cowan 3 goals)
Woolgoolga Seahorses 34 def Macksville Sea Eagles 32
Coffs Harbour Comets 30 def Bellingen-Dorrigo Magpies 16