Turkeys fall victim to Rhinos
THE Grafton Rhinos got their season back on track with a 52-28 whitewash of Kyogle in NRRRL action at McKittrick Park on Saturday, but the landslide victory was far from impressive.
It was hardly a convincing win and not the sort of performance one might expect from a side desperate to make an impact on the league ladder with only six rounds remaining before the semi-finals.
The Rhinos are carefully advancing step-by-step to keep their finals hopes alive but for Rhinos captain-coach Xavier Sullivan there is still a lot of hard work to be done.
“Once again we turned up expecting to win and only put them (Kyogle) away in the last 15 minutes,” a frustrated Sullivan said.
“We were flat and there was no talk out there on the field; it was a lacklustre performance.”
Sullivan admitted his side’s recent form has been shaky but was also content with his team being back in the winner’s circle after last week’s loss to Northern United.
“We just didn’t fire against Kyogle and we had a bad attitude, but in saying that a win’s a win,” he said.
“I don’t understand it; we played a team like Cudgen two weeks ago and put in the effort but against Kyogle we just didn’t produce or have our minds on the job.”
Inconsistency has been a problem for the Rhinos this season and at times they have fallen into the trap of not playing their own game or to their strengths.
“We have to play our own game and what’s in front of us – stop trying to play like the opposition and stick to our game plan,’ Sullivan said.
Sullivan singled out barnstorming front-rower Tim Tilse as his side’s best on the day.
“Tim got the players’ player award and kept taking the ball up all day. He got his first try of the season as well; in fact I think it might be his first try in three seasons,” he said.
It will be a tough couple of weeks for the Rhinos, which play away to Murwillumbah and Mullumbimby. According to Sullivan both games are crucial if his side is to feature in the play-offs.
“We have two away games in a row, Murwillumbah and Mullumbimby, which we need to win if we want a crack at the finals,” he said.
“We have a relatively easy run home after that but it all comes down to a better attitude on the field.”
The Rhinos reserve grade side made it a double on the day notching up 60 unanswered points against the Turkeys.