Alex Hulme will be keen for a strong match in the final round against Forster today at Coffs Rugby Park. File photo
Alex Hulme will be keen for a strong match in the final round against Forster today at Coffs Rugby Park. File photo

Call for composure


THE final home game of the season before the Mid North Coast rugby semi-finals should be motivation enough to ensure Coffs Rugby get the points this afternoon against Forster.

After a promising start to the season, Forster have gradually been falling down the ladder and are now sitting at the foot of the table.

Coffs Rugby on the other hand are travelling beautifully.

Like a Bart Cummings horse preparing for a Melbourne Cup, coach Paul Butcher has the undefeated Coffs team building up to peak at just the right moment.

Last week's performance against Dorrigo following a bye was simply awesome in such an important match and Butcher can't wait to see if the intensity remains the same this afternoon.

"It will be interesting to see if the guys can maintain their composure from last weekend," the coach said.

"We're up against easier opposition but Forster will be up here to play hard and have a good weekend I expect."

The hard work by the forwards created paddocks of space for the dangerous backs to run around in last week.

When you're on a good thing, is there really any need to change it?

"We will be tackling the game exactly like we did against Dorrigo last week," the coach explained.

"We will look to dominate up front before moving the ball where any of the backs have the ability to break the line."

The forwards set-up will be even further strengthened by the return from injury of Paul Gooley.

The double bonus of Gooley's recall is not only has he been one of the competition's most dangerous players all season but it also allows Connor Barret to return to the side of the scrum at Blindside Flanker.

When these two sides last met at Forster, one of the keys to Coffs 62-0 victory was the line-out that it dominated.

The stability of players returning to their usual position will no doubt aid the team in their quest for another dominating day.

Last week it was mentioned that the Coffs team was only a fraction off returning to full stregth but it appears that now the club is being punished for speaking too soon.

The three young guns of the team are all unavailable this weekend and in the case of Nathan Smith and Duncan Chubb will be unable to play for Coffs until the grand final weekend if the club manages to progress that far.

Smith and Chubb have been selected in the NSW under 17 team after strong recent displays for NSW Country.

The pair will now have representative duties to fulfill over the next four weekends.

Fly half Hugh Campbell will also be missing from today's match as he is in Sydney for the state schoolboys touch titles.

One man's bad luck is always another one's fortune and these absences give other players the chance to shine and secure a spot in the team for the upcoming finals.

Cameron Wainwright now has the opportunity to ensconse himself in the tight five if he continues the form he showed at Dorrigo last week.

Andrew Walker is another who's been given a look-in and he gets a chance today to be part of the star-studded backline at fullback.

Coffs Rugby team v Forster: 15. Andrew Walker, 14. Alex Hulme, 13. Kevin Simpson, 12. Brendan Hoy, 11. Aaron Miller, 10. Angus Garland, 9. Buster McCowatt, 8. Paul Gooley, 7. Chris Webb, 6. Connor Barret, 5. Craig Landrigan, 4. Andrew Lynn, 3. Matt Hoy, 2. Cameron Wainwright, 1. Nick Joyce. Reserves: 16. Matt Kent, 17. Dale Graham, 18. Ed Hibberd, 19. Rob Swinton, 20. Damian Punch.

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