Topsy-turvy NRRRL round

Mullumbimby’s Jarrod Flick off-loads in the NRRRL match against Evans Head on Saturday. The Giants won 28-6.
Mullumbimby’s Jarrod Flick off-loads in the NRRRL match against Evans Head on Saturday. The Giants won 28-6. DAVID NIELSEN
IN more than 20 years of following the local game, Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League secretary Doug Harrison has never witnessed a weekend that has produced so many upsets – except at a five-year-old’s birthday party that has run out of cake.

Normally the tipping in local league is a fairly straight forward procedure – stick with the status quo and go with the top five sides.

If you had followed that formula at the weekend, like Harrison you would have been stung as three of the top five sides fell in upsets, while the sixth side drew with the competition cellar-dwellers.

Competition leaders Northern United lost 38-18 to the Tweed Coast Raiders who are in seventh spot; the Grafton Rhinos (8th) recuperated from a 74-22 loss to United last weekend to defeat Grafton Ghosts (5th) 40-36; Murwillumbah (10th) knocked over defending premiers Byron Bay (4th) 16-6;and Casino RSM (14th) drew 32-all with Cudgen (6th) despite losing 72-0 to the Ghosts the round before.

“I can’t remember so many upsets in a round before and I’ve been involved in the game for a long time,” Harrison said.

“I think complacency may have crept into a few of the sides but I think it shows the competition is open. On any given day any side in the competition can beat any other side and that’s exactly what you want.”

Harrison believes a bookmaker would have offered odds of well over 200-1 for all the upsets to take place on the same weekend.

Harrison admitted he was most surprised by the Grafton game with the Rhinos overcoming their hiding the weekend before and the Ghosts succumbing after handing out a hiding for a 124-point turnaround.

“It was a complete reversal,” he said.

The NRRRL secretary was also impressed with Casino’s attempt to avoid the wooden spoon with a courageous draw against Cudgen.

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