Two matches involving likely Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League semi-finalists highlight this weekend’s round of the Retravision Northern League.

Both will be played on Saturday, with defending premiers Mullumbimby Giants facing Lismore Marist Brothers at Oakes Oval, Lismore, and fourth-placed Tweed Coast Raiders hosting second-placed Grafton Ghosts at Cabarita.

Mullumbimby hit back from a big loss to Kyogle in round 11 to hold competition leaders Byron Bay Red Devils to a 14-all draw at Mullumbimby last Saturday.

The Giants will need a repeat effort against Brothers, who are in equal second place and are starting to hit top form.

Adding pressure for the Giants is the fact that they are one point out of the five, and fifth-placed Lower Clarence will have the bye this weekend, thereby picking up two easy competition points.

And today’s game in Lismore is a special day for the Marist Brothers Rams, who will use it as a fund-raiser for two former local players, Bob Delaney and Geoff Irwin, who have motor neurone disease.

No doubt the Rams will be fired up for a big effort.

The Tweed Coast-Ghosts match should be a beauty.

Ghosts have been placed first or second all season.

They are coming off a bye last weekend, and club spirit no doubt would have been boosted by the re-signing this week of coach Col Speed.

Tweed Coast Raiders showed they are made of stern stuff when they held Kyogle Turkeys to a 26-all draw at Kyogle last Sunday. It’s always a tough road trip to Kyogle, but this season the Turkeys have a big and powerful forward pack.

Kyogle, like Mullumbimby, can’t afford too many losses in the run up to the semi-finals. They also are on 15 points, one behind Lower Clarence.

Competition leaders Byron Bay are at home to Ballina on Sunday, and should take the points, especially after thrashing Ballina 66-4 at Ballina a few weeks ago.

Points: Byron Bay 21, Grafton Ghosts 20, Marist Brothers 20, Tweed Coast Raiders 17, Lower Clarence 16, Kyogle 15, Mullumbimby 15, Grafton Rhinos 10, Cudgen 8, South Tweed 7, Casino 7, Murwillumbah 6, Ballina 6.

Draw for Round 13:

Saturday:

  • Tweed Coast v Grafton Ghosts, two grades, 2.30pm start, Les Berger Field, Cabarita. First-grade kick-off 4.15pm.
  • Evans Head v Lower Clarence (reserve grade only), Stan Payne Oval, Evans Head. Kick-off 2.30pm.
  • Marist Brothers v Mullumbimby, three grades, 3pm start, Oakes Oval, Lismore. First-grade kick-off 5.45pm.
  • Grafton Rhinos v Murwillumbah, three grades, 4pm start McKittrick Park, South Grafton. First-grade kick-off 6.45pm.

Sunday:

  • Byron Bay v Ballina, three grades, 12 noon start, Red Devil Park, Byron Bay. First-grade kick-off 2.45pm.
  • South Tweed v Kyogle, two grades, 12 noon start, Dave Burns Field, South Tweed. First-grade kick-off 1.30pm.
  • Casino RSM v Cudgen, three grades, 12 noon start, Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino. First-grade kick-off 2.45pm.