LEAGUE: Ghosts dealt blow ahead of round two
RUGBY LEAGUE: Grafton Ghosts have been dealt a major blow on the eve of the club's first home clash of the season.
Both Dylan Collett and Joel Moss are in serious doubt, and have not been named to take the field against the Sawtell Panthers tomorrow on Sunday.
It is understood Collett aggravated a pre-existing shoulder AC problem after landing hard on the surface at McKittrick Park last week.
It is a tough blow for captain-coach Danny Wicks, with the 2017 Group 2 Player of the Year proving he had not missed a beat scoring an opening round double against South Grafton Rebels.
Wicks said he will give the champion centre until Sunday to make the final decision.
"I think that nice soft ground in the middle of the cricket pitch at McKittrick got him,” Wicks said. "He just landed awkwardly on his elbow, and it has aggravated the injury in his shoulder.
"It is not a major injury, but with that being said we are not willing to risk doing any further damage, especially if it is only Round 2.
"At the end of the day he knows his body best, and if it comes to Sunday and he feels he can play, than that's what we will do.”
With fellow first-round try-scorer Moss out of the equation, it has forced Wicks to reshuffle his starting 13.
Matt Muller will return to the second row, a position he made his own last season, with Blake Winmill and Cameron Stewart coming into the starting centre roles.
Wicks said the side also had the luxury of players being able to play several positions allowing him to make running repairs on the day.
"We just have to see how it plays out, if it is not working than we have the luxury that we can make changes,” he said.
The focus for the Ghosts will be on their completion rate, which Wicks praised as first class last weekend.
"I thought the boys were absolutely outstanding on that front last week,” Wicks said. "Everyone had a goal and we kept it pretty simple.
”It's simple football, but that is rugby league. Over-complicate it and that's when things go wrong.”
While Wicks said his side had not paid too much attention to the rest of the Group, the Ghosts will not be taking the Panthers lightly after they defeated Orara Valley Axemen last weekend.
Former South Grafton junior Austin Cooper scored in the Panthers 30-16 win at Rex Hardaker Oval, and the side will be bringing that momentum to Frank McGuren Field on Sunday.