Expect plenty of points
AS FAR as fitness goes, two sides that appear to be travelling in different directions are Sawtell and Macksville.
But a recent history of close matches has the coaches of both clubs wary of the opposition prior to tomorrow's big match at Rex Hardaker Oval.
The last three meetings between the two clubs has seen a massive 232 points scored and the largest margin being only a converted try.
On any given day a Panthers and Sea Eagles clash would normally qualify as the match of the day and the respective table positions would do it again tomorrow if it weren't for the Woolgoolga and Orara game.
A loss for Sawtell tomorrow will see them drop out of the five for the first time this year but Panthers coach Craig Wallace isn't looking at the game like that at all.
"There's no need to hit panic stations yet," he said.
"The competition is so tight this year that if we get one win, we're right in the hunt again."
After losing their last two matches, all the Sawtell players came together for a meeting during the week and Wallace is feeling a lot more comfortable about his team's attitude since the heart to heart.
"Whichever way the game goes this weekend, supporters can expect a much bigger effort from all the players this week."
Sawtell have been experiencing a hellish run with injuries of late, but Paul Davis won't hear any talk of Macksville just turning up and getting the two points tomorrow.
"There's a history of close games between the sides and it's not going to be any different Sunday," he said.
"Especially after their loss last week, Sawtell will be fired up."
As much as Sawtell have been struggling with their injury list, Macksville are getting close to having their best team on the paddock other than the absence of fullback David Pickvance.
The return of Garry Jarrett to five-eighth seems to have sparked new life into a Sea Eagles group that only a month ago was having it's chances of defending their title seriously questioned.