Captain Hancock keeps Redmen in reckoning for finals
RUGBY UNION: Driving rain, a sodden field and soaked fans ... inside and out.
Not ideal conditions for the Grafton Redmen Sponsors’ Day.
However, what mattered most was the scoreboard with the home side producing the goods in two grades against the Kempsey Cannonballs.
McKimms Grafton Redmen first grade side, led superbly by captain and playmaker Kyle Hancock, ran out winners 29-10 to keep them in finals reckoning.
Hancock completely dominated proceedings with a hat-trick of five-pointers. But it was his astute kicking game that turned the screws on the visitors, keeping them pinned in their own half for most of the contest.
“In these conditions I was surprised they (Kempsey) didn’t kick out of trouble and decided to run,” Hancock said after the match.
“We kept them down in their own half for most of the game. You can’t win a game from your own twenty-two.”
With their scrum once again dominant, Grafton went to the sheds with a comfortable 17-5 lead. However, after the break the home side went for an early smoko before tries to Dom Bullock and Hancock put the result beyond doubt.
“We always expected a physical game and in the end we probably thought the scoreline would have been a bit closer,” Hancock said.
“We had a bit of a lull in the middle of the game but credit to our guys, we stuck to the task and finished off strongly.
“I also thought our scrum paved the way again today and we kept it tight and played the right game in the conditions.”
Back from a long stretch on the sidelines, former inside-centre Keaton Ingram shifted to the fullback position and despite having limited opportunities caused headaches for the opposition with his barnstorming returns of the football.
“I thought he (Keaton) had a great game at the back and adds another dimension to the backline,” Hancock said.
Grafton are at home to Wauchope Thunder next week. Thunder were once again thumped, 65-0 this time by Port Pirates.
Henwoods second grade survived a late scare from Kempsey to win 27-19.
Young centre Jake Harris again tore the opposition apart and must be in consideration for a spot in the first grade run-on side.
UPENDED: Redmen fullback Keaton Ingram was solid for Grafton in their 29-10 win against Kempsey.