Coffs experiment with backline
THE four hour trip to Old Bar Beach today will not only give Coffs Rugby players an opportunity to see how the other half live but for coach Paul Butcher, a chance to experiment with his backline. Customary fullback Angus Garland will slot in at number ten with five-eighth Kevin Simpson reverting to his old position at outside centre. "We need more experience in close for Gus in case something unforeseen happens to Kevvy in the semis," Butcher explained. "He had a run there against Manning and handled it well. "Plus swapping Alex Hulme and Rod Deighton at the back allow us to mix and match speed and attack." In one stroke of good fortune Butcher doesn't have to look far to replace prop Matt Hoy, stood down for one week after being concussed and losing teeth in the clash with Dorrigo. "Duncan Chubb is available for two weeks before he goes on tour with the Australia A schoolboy team," he said. "We spoke at training and depending on his schedule he should be back around the time of the major semi." Coffs will soon be further boosted by the return of Connor Barrett, currently working off the bench as the highest-quality waterboy in the competition. "Two weeks, maybe three, before we see him in boots again," Butcher mentioned. "No need to rush him back as we're going fairly well without the need to risk him." Despite this clash shaping as David versus Goliath both teams have a great deal at stake with Old Bar locked in a three-way battle against Hastings Valley and Forster for the fourth semi final position. After thrashing the Clams 76-0 on their May 20 Toormina appearance today's tourists will look for a repeat scoreline. The resulting bonus points would just about ensure them the minor premiership.