Lower Clarence Magpies sit alone on top of the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League table after their win over Grafton Ghosts, and a surprise second successive loss by Northern United, in this weekend’s round 15 of the NRRRL.

Lower Clarence beat Grafton Ghosts 38-22 at Grafton on Sunday, while Grafton Rhinos upset Northern United 48-36 in Grafton on Saturday.

Northern United had shared the competition lead with Lower Clarence going into the round, but successive losses to Tweed Coast and now the Rhinos have put them in second place.

Elsewhere in round 15, premiers Byron Bay got back on track with a hard-fought 16-10 win over arch-rivals Mullumbimby Giants at Byron Bay on Sunday.

Tweed Coast beat Cudgen 18-12 at Kingscliff, and the weekend results have set up the competition for a cut-throat race to the semi-finals with three rounds remaining.

Lower Clarence lead on 26, Northern United are next on 24 and Mullumbimby are third on 22. All seem assured of a finals berth.

Byron Bay are fourth on 20 and should qualify, with relatively easy games against Casino RSM and Marist Brothers before a final round clash with Lower Clarence.

The race for fifth spot is wide open. Grafton Ghosts, Cudgen, Grafton Rhinos and Tweed Coast are on 16 points.

Points: Lower Clarence 26, Northern United 24, Mullumbimby 22, Byron Bay 20, Grafton Ghosts 16, Cudgen 16, Grafton Rhinos 16, Tweed Coast 16, Ballina 14, Murwillumbah 10, Kyogle 7, Marist Brothers 7, Casino RSM 7, Evans Head 5.

Round 16: Tweed Coast v Evans Head, Murwillumbah v Cudgen, Kyogle v Grafton Ghosts, Mullumbimby v Marist Brothers, Northern United v Ballina, Lower Clarence v Grafton Rhinos, Casino RSM v Byron Bay.

NORTHERN RIVERS RUGBY LEAGUE RESULTS ROUND  15
   
FRIDAY NIGHT
MARIST BROTHERS V KYOGLE OAKES OVAL LISMORE 31/07/09
1ST MARST BROTHERS  46 DEF  KYOGLE    4
RES MARIST BROTHERS  26 DEF  KYOGLE  12
18.S KYOGLE          42 DEF  MARIST BROTHERS 6

SATURDAY
EVANS HEAD V CASINO RSM  STAN PAYNE OVAL EVANS HD 01/08/09
1ST CASINO RSM    10 DEF EVANS HEAD   8
RES EVANS HEAD  24 DEF CASINO RSM  12
18.S EVANS HEAD  62 DEF CASINO RSM   4
                         
GRAFTON RHINOS V NORTHERN UTD McKITTRICK PK STH GRAFTON  01/08/09
1ST   GRAFTON RHINOS  48 DEF  NORTHERN UNITED 36
RES  NORTHERN UNITED 34 DEF  GRAFTON RHINOS  22
18.S  NORTHERN UNITED 42 DEF  GRAFTON  RHINOS 12

CUDGEN V TWEED COAST NED BYRNE FIELD KINGSCLIFF 01/08/09
1ST TWEED COAST 18 DEF CUDGEN 12 
RES CUDGEN         24 DEF TWEED COAST  6
18.S TWEED COAST 30 DEF CUDGEN 10

SUNDAY
GRAFTON GHOSTS V LOWER CLARENCE MCGUREN PK GRAFTON 02/08/09                          
1ST LOWER CLARENCE 38 DEF GRAFTON GHOSTS  22
RES LOWER CLARENCE 30 DEF GRAFTON GHOSTS  18
18.S GRAFTON GHOSTS 26 DEF LOWER CLARENCE   8

BYRON BAY V MULLUMBIMBY BYRON BAY R.L. GROUND  B.BAY 02/08/09
IST BYRON BAY 16 DEF MULLUMBIMBY  10
RES BYRON BAY 10 DEF MULLUMBIMBY   6
18.S MULLUMBIMBY 32 DEF BYRON BAY   4

BALLINA V MURWILLUMBAH  KINGSFORD SMITH PK BALLINA  02/08/09 
IST BALLINA         48 DEF MURWILLUMBAH   10
RES BALLINA         26 DEF MURWILLUMBH   22
18.S MURWILLUMBAH 32 DEF BALLINA           22