Pioneers halfback Lachlan Crockett will help ease five-eighth and debutant Alex Watson into first grade against the Redmen.
Pioneers halfback Lachlan Crockett will help ease five-eighth and debutant Alex Watson into first grade against the Redmen. File

Pioneers keen to break losing run

WOLLONGBAR-Alstonville will be out to break a two-game losing streak when they face Grafton in the fourth round of Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Union at Grafton Rugby Park today.

Coach Ben Grayndler wants a bonus-point win, but admits it won't be easy against a Grafton team that is desperately seeking its first win of the season.

“You can easily get left behind on the ladder if you don't win these types of games,” he said.

“They (Grafton) are probably only a sniff away from a win and they will be hard to beat at home.

“We just need to make sure we don't clock off, even though it is a long-weekend and players are away on holiday.”

The Pioneers will use their fourth five-eighth in as many weeks, with 21-year-old Alex Watson set to make his debut.

Grayndler is confident that the young speedster is up to the task.

“It's a good challenge for him and I think he's up to it,” Grayndler said.

“He won't be shy about barking out orders to the older blokes. Watto looks confident at training. He really has an old head on a young pair of shoulders. Having a guy like Lachlan Crockett at halfback helps too.

“He's had a solid season and will be looking to continue that form.”

The Pioneers will be without strike forwards Scott Burgess and James Nunn.

They welcome back winger Adam Morris, second rower Scott McPherson and prop Justin Whicker, who were all away last weekend.

Kick-off is 1.50pm.

Meanwhile, it was another ugly win for Ballina against Casino on Wednesday night.

Both teams looked lethargic, with the Seahorses grinding out a scrappy 20-7 victory to make it three on the trot.

Birthday boy Troy Nicholls had his best game of the season at centre.

Other stand-out players for the Seahorses were No 8 Brett McLennan and centre Matthew Thompson.

Lennox Head and Lismore City game has been postponed to a date yet to be confirmed.

Both teams had agreed to play at Williams Reserve, Lennox Head, on Thursday night.

But due to lighting and night-time restrictions on a construction site adjacent to the field, play was not possible.

SCU has the bye.