Sport

OPINION: Redmen on the rough end of season draw

STRUGGLE: Grafton Redmen's Zac Mason-Gale in action against four-time premiers Hastings Valley Vikings.
STRUGGLE: Grafton Redmen's Zac Mason-Gale in action against four-time premiers Hastings Valley Vikings. Gary Nichols

WITH the Mid North Coast 2017 rugby season just around the corner, Grafton Redmen will once again face a tough task featuring in this year's finals series.

But has it got a lot to do with player depth, a rugby league stronghold in the Clarence Valley or Grafton's geographical location?

For years Grafton has struggled to attract class rugby players whereas towns located on the coastal strip appear to have no problem luring talented players to strengthen their playing roster.

The close proximity of world-class beaches, employment opportunities and services makes these coastal hamlets very appealing to rugby union journeymen.

It's no coincidence Hastings Valley Vikings, Port Macquarie Pirates and Coffs Snappers continue to dominate come semi-finals time.

Last season Grafton narrowly missed the play-offs, a gallant effort considering they struggled to field the same team each week.

Even with the second Grafton bridge and Pacific Highway bypass under construction, the Redmen have not benefited from an influx of potential rugby stocks to bolster their playing ranks.

The Mid North Coast representative side is littered with players from the "big three”, confirming it has the arsenal to remain at the top of the competition ladder.

With the exception of Kempsey, who were runners-up to Hastings in last year's decider, sides failing to attract big-name players will always be under the pump.

A further concern for the Redmen is the draw Mid North Coast rugby has dished out this season.

Grafton has arguably the best fan base in the competition, but the lack of home games and large gaps between fixtures is certainly not ideal for players, sponsors or supporters.

Grafton hosts Coffs Harbour Snappers in round 1 with their next home game scheduled three weeks later.

In round 6 the Redmen are at home to Hastings Vikings but unfortunately fans will have to wait a further six weeks before the Redmen run out on home soil.

Sporting draws are always a bone of contention.

It's hard to please everyone.

But six weeks without a home game will surely have a negative effect on the club and the supporter base.

Topics:  gary nichols grafton redmen mid north coast rugby opinion rugby union


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Queens of the Stone Age, The xx to headline Splendour 2017

Queens of the Stone Age will headline Splendour in the Grass 2017.

LCD Soundsystem also playing three-day music festival at Byron in July.

Splendour tickets on sale this weekend for locals

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Are you in the area allowed to purchase them?

Paul Capsis to reopen Brunswick Picture House

Cabaret performer Paul Capsis will perform at Lismore City Hall on December 29.

Cabaret star brings back his latest solo show

Local Partners

MKR villain claims producers ‘blackmailed’ him

AFTER being branded the biggest jerk on My Kitchen Rules, Josh has hit back at the show with explosive claims about being “blackmailed” by producers.

Queens of the Stone Age, The xx to headline Splendour 2017

Queens of the Stone Age will headline Splendour in the Grass 2017.

LCD Soundsystem also playing three-day music festival at Byron in July.

MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT: Bride has regrets after break-up

Susan was having second thoughts about ending her relationship with Sean.

Sean's bride Susan was clearly having second thoughts.

‘I feel sh*t’: Agonising Married At First Sight split

Vanessa breaks down during her miserable break-up with Andy over fish and chips.

IT’S the MAFS break-up we knew would eventually happen.

Splendour tickets on sale this weekend for locals

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Are you in the area allowed to purchase them?

The Lyrical, beyond the 'F' word

Roots, Hip-Hop and Reggae artist Karl Smith, also known as The Lyrical.

Hiphop artist brings his latest music to the area

Paul Capsis to reopen Brunswick Picture House

Cabaret performer Paul Capsis will perform at Lismore City Hall on December 29.

Cabaret star brings back his latest solo show

Luxury hotel expands $400m water park development

Developer to push on with second stage of massive new water park

Dalwood waterfall up for sale

Two people have died at Dalwood Falls, Ballina.

How would you like to own your very own waterfall?

It's official: Byron Bay unaffordable

MILLIONAIRES ROW: The Housing Commission house in Keats St, Byron Bay which sold at auction on Saturday for $1.65 million.

Buying a home in Bay Bay is a dream too far for some

Northern Rivers vacancy rates slip backwards

LITTLE ROOM: Vacancy rates on rental properties have dropped by .5% in the Northern Rivers to just 1.1%.

Northern Rivers rental housing shortage beats Sydney

Coast home luring interstate buyers sold

PRIZED POSITION: Blue clip location, peaceful surroundings, spacious living with swimming pool, tennis court on 4562sq
m

The property was described as a 'Queenslander with Hamptons style'

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!