GRAFTON Ghosts captain-coach Ryan Farrell has concerns his team will be a bit underdone in terms of match fitness for their opening NRRRL game against Evans Head.
The Ghosts were set down to play Lower Clarence Magpies in a trial match at the weekend but the Magpies decided to pull out of the game, citing player injuries.
With no football played on Easter weekend and a bye in round one, the reigning premiers will not taste a game of rugby league until their round-two clash against Evans Head on April 22.
"No it's not an ideal preparation for us, not a good start to the season at all," Farrell told the Daily Examiner after finding out the trial game was cancelled.
"When you play trial matches you have something to work on before the round games.
"It's a chance to look at the players and how they are shaping up but now we'll have to take a step backward and focus on pre-season conditioning.
"Also, I'll now have to settle on a side for our first game, make a decision and go with it."
Lower Clarence president Donald Johnson was quick to quash rumours the Magpies were struggling for numbers in the senior grade but said the under-18s was a different story.
"We have plenty of numbers in first and reserve grade," Johnson said. "We have a few injuries at the moment in our senior ranks and also the overlap with the cricket season has been a problem for some players.
"Our under-18s are struggling for numbers at the moment but hopefully we can field a side this season."
The Magpies' opening game is set down for April 15 at the Maclean Showground against the Kyogle Turkeys.