Coffs Harbour have a healthy respect for Dorrigo as they look to maintain their undefeated run today.
Coffs Harbour have a healthy respect for Dorrigo as they look to maintain their undefeated run today.

Dorrigo always a tough proposition


A TRIP up the hill to Dorrigo for an away game usually has Coffs Rugby packing the gloves, beanies and thermal undies in anticipation of the colder climate.

While supporters may need to rug up today, there is never a shortage of heat on the paddock when Dorrigo are involved in a game of footy.

It may be a while since Dorrigo last defeated Coffs but if there's one side that the top of the table team respects, it's Dorrigo.

"Even though they haven't been winning recently, they never lose by much," Coffs coach Paul Butcher said.

"They don't score many points themselves but it's hard to score against them.

Butcher hasn't been able to his best team on the paddock at any stage this year and this afternoon is no different.

Nathan Smith and Duncan Chubb will be missing from the line-up as they are both still fulfilling their representative duties in the NSW Country school's team.

Paul Gooley had sufficiently recovered from a calf injury he sustained a fortnight ago against Manning but it was Gooley's dentist during the week that proved too difficult to overcome.

The in-form number eight will also be missing from tomorrow's match that marks the start of Coffs run towards the semi finals which are only three weeks away.

"Three rounds to the semi's so all I'm looking at is a good strong hitout both in attack and defence," Butcher said.

"There will be nothing fancy about how we approach this game as the players are aiming hard to retain their spots for the semi's and do all the basic things right."

One of the basics that Butcher would love to see improve is the amount of talk on the field, particularly from the older heads in the team.

"I will be looking for a bit of leadership from the experience of Kevin Simpson and Matt Hoy to get us around the park with plenty of talk," he said.

"This will be backed up by Matt Timmins at fullback who has been in and out of seconds this year after being away for work in Sydney but was a permanent member of last year's first grade team.

"You won't miss him shouting out orders from the back."

The temperature in Dorrigo this afternoon may be a few degrees cooler than back home but recent weather leaves Butcher unconcerned.

"At least we are used to it now with all the cold weather over the last week."

Coffs Rugby team v Dorrigo: 15. Matt Timmins, 14. Alex Hulme, 13. Kevin Simpson, 12. Brendan Hoy (capt.), 11. Aaron Miller, 10. Hugh Campbell, 9. Buster McCowatt, 8. Connor Barrett, 7. Chris Webb, 6. Matt Kent, 5. Craig Landrigan, 4. Andrew Lynn, 3. Matt Hoy, 2. Cameron Wainwright, 1. Nick Joyce. Reserves: 16. Dale Graham, 17. Gus Garland, 18. Ed Hibberd, 19. Mark Hine.

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