SO CLOSE: Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Heads will be vying for a berth in next week’s Group 2 grand final when they meet at Geoff King Motors Park tomorrow. LEIGH JENSEN
SO CLOSE: Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Heads will be vying for a berth in next week’s Group 2 grand final when they meet at Geoff King Motors Park tomorrow. LEIGH JENSEN

A shot at redemption

SOME horror movies are so bad there's no way you want to watch them a second time, but that's a luxury Coffs Harbour players didn't have this week.

After a 54-4 thumping at the hands of South Grafton in last week's major semi-final, Comets coach Col Speed made sure his players relived the experience they had to endure live for 80 minutes.

While Speed watched every minute of the game again, the players didn't have to see every gory detail themselves. Just enough to make sure they knew where they went wrong.

"Basically it was our completion rate and our contact in defence, especially in the first half," Speed said.

Knowing what you need to do to improve and being able to do it against quality opposition are two different things though.

Something Speed knows all too well as the Comets approach tomorrow's preliminary final against Nambucca Heads.

Two months ago, the Roosters looked an unlikely finalist but a long winning streak now has them only one win away from reaching the grand final.

And they're playing a style of football good enough to give any coach concerns.

"Nambucca are coming good at the right time of the season," Speed said.

"They've got some big forwards that give them good go-forward and backs who can capitalise on that like Jay Melrose and the Kelly brothers."

To beat Nambucca Heads, Speed isn't looking for any magic formulas. "We need to concentrate on our basics, getting them right. We need the forwards to build a platform and work off the back of that. It's a bit old school but it works," he said.

Having won their past six games straight and nine of the last 10, the Roosters are playing with confidence.

Coach Peter Barrett said his team hasn't blown teams off the park but the series of close matches has been part of the Roosters' secret.

"These guys keep digging deep," Barrett said. "They dig deep for each other and being local boys, they dig deep for the town."

PRELIMINARY FINALS

Sunday at Geoff King Motors Park.

2.30pm: First grade - Coffs Harbour v Nambucca Heads (Referee: Nathan Grace)

12.45pm: Reserve grade: South Grafton v Grafton (Referee: Ray Pettit)

11.30am: Under-18s: Sawtell v South Grafton (Referee: Julian Hulbert)



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