Action heats up as finals approach
WITH only three rounds remaining in the home and away season, the intensity is ramping up as all teams turn one eye towards the finals.
Ladder leaders Coffs Breakers host the struggling Grafton and will be looking for a handy percentage boost to strengthen their grip on the top spot.
The Breakers are on a three-match winning streak, with their last loss coming against northern New South Wales powerhouse Byron Bay in the middle of last month.
During this streak they've beaten competition heavyweights Sawtell/Toormina and have assumed the premiership favouritism.
Grafton has a good team on paper but getting those names off the page and onto the ground at the same time has proven to be its big struggle this season.
The Tigers will be hoping the lure of a finals campaign will draw the players to training and matches and see them start to turn the tide.
Port Macquarie is also struggling but rate themselves a chance against the Saints, who are still trying to get injured players back on the park.
The road trip to Port will also rule out a few Saints players so now is the time the Magpies need to put down a marker that indicates they can do some damage come finals time.
Sawtell/Toormina finds itself in the unusual position of having lost two matches on the bounce and will be desperate to get back to winning ways.
The Saints' first half last week against Byron was outstanding and saw the Magpies in the unaccustomed position of going to the sheds trailing at half-time.
Unfortunately for the Saints they couldn't maintain the intensity after the long break and this will be the key area they will be looking to improve against Port.
AFL NORTH COAST
Coffs Breakers v Grafton
Port Macquarie v Sawtell/Toormina