Gritty win for Coffs
By GREG WHITE
SOME in the crowd found Coffs Harbour's 19-8 victory over Dorrigo at Rugby Park on Saturday a boring affair but winning coach Paul Butcher was having none of it.
"Pretty gritty and competitive rather than boring," he said.
"Both sides trying to bash the ball up and run over each other is probably why they're saying that."
With the Rangers doing their best to restrict the game to the forwards Coffs seized upon every excuse to run the ball to the edges.
"Our backs were good but we may have gone too wide, too often," the coach said.
"When we did find that overlap we didn't have the players coming through to finish off.
"There were enough breaks to score three or four more tries but something always seemed to break down."
Coffs scored two tries with one disallowed while Dorrigo scored once.
But if Butcher was questioning his side's eagerness to find open space he found the Ranger's reluctance to follow suit an unexpected bonus.
"Yeah, I thought it strange they kept in close more often than not considering they have a matchwinner out wide in Ian Boutell.
"Mind you, they still restricted us by rushing up quickly on Kevvy Simpson."
And by doing so, Dorrigo put sustained pressure on their rival forward pack, often putting them off their game.
"We had good go-forward," Butcher said, before admitting: "We didn't go far enough with our ruck and maul before spreading the ball.
"I counted five times we were five metres from the line, making two metres on the pick and drive and then we'd swing it too quickly.
"I'll give them a rev at training about that."
While pleased Coffs have avenged their shock first round loss to Dorrigo, Butcher maintains he's not ready to claim the minor premiership.
"We still have to beat Old Bar next week after a long trip," he said.
"Dorrigo have the advantage of a home game against Kempsey but who do you reckon I'll be cheering for in that one?"
Being told the match statistics didn't entice Butcher into making a comment.
With 77 stoppages in Taree last weekend the expectation was it would be different story at home this week.
And so it proved.
With the same referee (Ian Pascoe) in charge of proceedings, there were 88 stoppages.
COFFS HARBOUR RUGBY 19 (Tim Pollard, Mark Hine tries; Angus Garland 3 penalty goals) def DORRIGO RANGERS 8 (Ian Boutell try; Bengt Christiansen penalty goal)
Scrums: Dorrigo 11-7
Penalties: Dorrigo 19-16
Lineouts: Coffs Harbour 20 (5 against the throw), Dorrigo 15 (4 against the throw)Best Players: Rod Deighton, Andrew Lynn, Mark Hine (Coffs Harbour) - Tim Foster, Andy Fuller, Ian Boutell (Dorrigo)
Second Grade: Coffs Rugby 12 d South West Rocks 3
Colts: Coffs Rugby 15 d South West Rocks 7