BIG HIT: Cudgen wrap up Marist Brothers front-rower Lilo Stavenow in the NRRRL preliminary final at Ned Byrne Field, Kingscliff on Sunday.
BIG HIT: Cudgen wrap up Marist Brothers front-rower Lilo Stavenow in the NRRRL preliminary final at Ned Byrne Field, Kingscliff on Sunday. Mike Donnelly

Win comes at a cost in NRRRL

INJURIES have hit Cudgen ahead of the NRRRL grand final against Ballina at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina on Sunday.

Winger Brad Hicks left the field early with a busted shoulder in the second half after scoring a try against Marist Brothers in the preliminary final on Sunday.

Fullback Tyler Chadburn also failed to finish the game, helped off with a lower leg injury while lock Anthony Flores is still battling injury concerns.

Flores was touch and go to play on Sunday but produced another superb performance highlighted by a bell-ringer of a tackle on Rams winger Jeremy Garland.

Ballina have had the week off but have some injury concerns of their own.

Hooker Andrew Battese played in the major semi-final and still performed well despite being limited by a bad ankle.

The Seagulls will need him to return to goal-kicking duties after only kicking two from seven attempts in a 28-20 win over Cudgen.

Front-rower Dylan Montgomery has only been back for one game and is battling a biceps injury.

Meanwhile, Grafton Ghosts went through the Group 2 season undefeated after a convincing 32-12 win over South Grafton in the grand final on Sunday.

It was a fairytale finish for Ghosts who look set to rejoin the NRRRL next year after four seasons and two premierships in Group 2.

They were captained by club junior and former NRL player Danny Wicks who left the Parramatta Eels in the preseason.

"Giving a little bit back was a big thing for me,” Wicks said.

"I got in a little bit of trouble earlier in my career, but that's the thing with country towns like Grafton; they are always willing to welcome you back with open arms.

"To come back and get a premiership with them, for them, was really, really good.

"It is definitely a privilege to lead this club to a premiership title. You just love footy and these sorts of days don't come around often, so when they do you take advantage of them.”

Tempers blew out of control midway through the second half after a late shot from Rebels' five-eighth Hugh Stanley on Mitch Lollback broke down into a melee between the two star players.

Group 2 official Nathan Grace was left with no choice but to send both players to the sin bin after punches were thrown.

But it was the Ghosts who were able to maintain their composure after the incident putting the focus on the football and soon they extended the lead through winger Joel Moss who crashed across under three defenders.

In the dying stages of the clash Lollback scored a deserved four-pointer after latching on to a Greenshields grubber to plant the ball down in the in-goal and seal the premiership victory.



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