No green grass of home

FOR the first time since Coffs Rugby was formed in 2003, the team will be playing a major semi-final away from the comfortable surrounds of their home ground on Hogbin Drive.

Despite thrashing the pants off Hastings Valley Vikings 46-3 at Oxley Oval on Saturday, Coffs must now get back on the bus this weekend and travel to Stuart Park to take on this year's minor premiers, the Port Pirates.

"Who remembers the minor premiers anyway?" asked Coffs coach Paul Butcher.

"People only remember who wins the grand final."

Butcher was pleased with the way that the team executed the set plays on Saturday and is confident that if that form continues, the grand final will be played at Park Beach Plaza Rugby Park.

"If we can play like that again and with a little bit more intensity then we should be right," he added. "Hastings aren't that bad a side, they're third on the table but to beat them the way we did shows that it's all starting to come together at the right time of the year."

Matt Hoy again proved that he's a back locked inside a forward's body by scoring another two tries while outside centre Brendan Biddle also boarded the team bus home with a brace of tries to his name.

The halves combination of Leith Vaughan and Kevin Simpson showed that with each week they spend together, the pairing becomes even more potent as they continually set up play around them.

Vaughan scored a try himself while Simpson made four conversion attempts as well as scoring a penalty goal.

It's not just the form that his team showed on the weekend that Butcher quietly confident, but it's the make-up of his team as well.

"I think we're a bit more even across the field compared to Port Pirates," Butcher said.

"They have got their five, six, or seven elite players who are very good but then the standard drops drown to the next level pretty quickly.

"Their good players cover for them pretty well but I think we'll be hitting them around their weaknesses."

What will be causing the coach some headaches this week, other than being forced to wear a Borat mankini to training will be a selection dilemma.

"Mitch Lind and Chris Webb are back this week so that gives us nine forwards to choose from," he said.

"One of them will have to play as a fresh reserve. Which one of them that will be at this stage, I'm not sure yet."



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