A dinkum derby
FOR the first time Southern Cross University will start genuine favourite against Coffs Harbour in a rugby local derby, without resorting to hype to build up the contest.
But that doesn't mean the Marlins are certain of victory today at Geoff King Motors Park.
The side went badly off the boil in last week's visit to the Hastings and coach Dave Nicol says it's time to relight the fire that put his side among the early season frontrunners.
"Losing to Vikings showed them how far we have to go and you can't just turn up expecting to win," he said.
"Effort has to be there every week and to stay switched on."
The Snappers remain the only side the Uni boys haven't beaten since returning to the competition.
"And those black and red blokes will be out to make sure it stays that way," Nicol warned his men.
With Jono Jones out injured, Nicol has altered the backline with 17-year-old rookie Tommy Gilbert to get his first grade opportunity with a debut on the wing.
MARLINS v SNAPPERS
1. Joel Riddle, 2. Cameron Smith, 3. Matthew Potts, 4. Chris Wiggins, 5. Josh McGinniskin, 6. Chris McDonough, 7. Luke Reeves, 8. Jack Cummins, 9. Nathan Burley, 10. Tim Davis, 11. Tommy Gilbert, 12. Dave McCormack, 13. Tim Yee, 14. Simon Donald, 15. Josh Rayner. Coach: Dave Nicol.
Coffs Harbour Snappers
1. James Bellamy, 2. Brian Marshall, 3. Matt Joyce, 4. Craig Landrigan, 5. Matt Quirk, 6. Gav Vanderkly, 7. Vilise Vatuvili, 8. Paul Butcher, 9. Robert Denne, 10. Kris Kent, 11. Waqa Yaya, 12. Matt Spence, 13. Max Timmons, 14. Adrian Nix, 15. Josh Lean. Coaches: Rob Waddy and Craig Landrigan.