Rebels playmaker leads scorching team display
RUGBY LEAGUE: The South Grafton Rebels were a galvanised team with seven different try-scorers crossing the line to beat the Sawtell Panthers 50-14 at McKittrick Park on Sunday.
There were several standout performers but one man lead his side from start to finish, scoring two dazzling tries and an assist, and that was half-back Allen McKenzie.
"We're stoked, it was a real team effort at the end of the day,” McKenzie said.
"We've been working hard all season and you can really see the difference compared to our first game, especially when we play at home.”
The Rebels' flying start was sparked by McKenzie, who crossed for his first in less than two minutes before scoring a brilliant solo try after a lightning fast 30-metre run.
"I always like to be able to score tries, I score tries off the back of our forwards and they give me the freedom and the confidence to back myself to play,” he said.
"That just summarises our team effort once again.”
South Grafton were without experienced forward Grant Stephens but club captain Luke Welch made a welcome return.
"We lost one but we gained one, we'd obviously love to have them back but we played well with Lukey (Welch) back today and it's good to have him as captain again,” he said.
The victory sets up two derbys in two weeks with a round14 game against the Grafton Ghosts before a return in the qualifying final.
"For us it's massive, local derby back-to-back, so we're looking forward to it and if with a home semi-final as well, it's a big win for South Grafton.”
"We've improved a lot, individually and as a team, and now we need to keep the momentum going into the finals.”