Coffs smash Manning
By GREG WHITE
WITHIN 18 seconds of the kickoff at Rugby Park on Saturday it was obvious Mannning River would not be the team terminating Coffs Rugby's winning streak.
When the Ratz turned the ball over on the first play it took one Greg Wilson pass off the ruck to find a flying Kevin Simpson who improved infield to touch under the posts.
As Wayne Dean converted to bring up the 7-nil scoreline, many supporters were later to admit they didn't realise the game was underway.
Least surprised was winning coach Paul Butcher.
"We're backing ourselves to score twice in the opening ten minutes but I have to admit that one got under my guard," he said.
Coffs went on to land another 14 tries before the scoreboard attendant grew tired of the charade and called a halt at 93-0.
"The score was expected the way the boys played," Butcher admitted.
"Execution was excellent and we have set plays that we work on all the time at training to give us those sort of results."
Each game, Coffs seem to hand out another textbook lesson in rugby technique and this time it was scrummaging.
In the opening stanza, Coffs had two scrum feeds and won seven possessions as their big pack relentlessly drove Manning backwards.
"Nobody's going to push Wainright, Chubb and Hoy around and we're hoping that stays the same all year," Butcher said with a grin.
But is another cruisy victory going to create mental lapses in his charges?
Butcher gives a firm "no".
"They know how serious I am about how we approach the game.
"Some might muck around once the game is won but if work has to be done, it's done."
Surprisingly, in light of the scoring blitzkrieg in the opening weeks of the premiership, Butcher claims defence remains his main priority.
"It's the hard work the forwards do around the ruck that makes us a well drilled outfit.
"You can't attack without the ball and when you can relieve the opposition of possession with some heavy play it provides extra opportunity for the backline."
The day was extra special for wingman Alex Hulme who in addition to chalking up four tries against his own name managed to provide a helping hand to team mates for another five.
At a glance
COFFS RUGBY 93 (Alex Hulme 4, Rod Deighton 3, Greg Wilson, Matt Kent 2, Kevin Simpson, Matt Hoy, Angus Garland, Duncan Chubb tries; Wayne Dean 8, Deighton conversions) def MANNING RIVER RATZ nil.
Scrums: Coffs Rugby 12-10
Penalties: Coffs Rugby 5-1
Lineouts: Coffs Rugby 12 (2 against throw), Manning River Ratz 3
Best Players: Alex Hulme, Matt Hoy, Greg Wilson (Coffs) - Jordan Gilbey, Peter Wilson, Dave Caldwell (Manning)
Second Grade: Coffs Rugby 28 d Nambucca Valley 5
Under 18: Coffs Rugby 22 d Manning River Ratz 7