Saints are taking all before them
By CHRIS McKINLEY
UNDEFEATED and taking all before them, Sawtell have gone a long way to proving their favourtism to win back-to-back titles when they blasted North Coffs off the park in the last forty minutes to record a comfortable victory by 73 points.
Ten minutes into the third stanza North Coffs kicked the first two goals of the second half to reduce the margin to only 17 points but Sawtell looked their challengers in the eye and swept all before them after that point.
Sawtell coach Russ Matthews is real hard nut and he was pleased that his players proved to be tough nuts themselves when the physical pressure was applied in a match that had many hard packs forming whenever the ball was in dispute.
"There were times when the North Coffs players preferred to put on a hit rather than get the football but our guys never took a backward step," he said.
"When a hard football was there to be won, I was proud of our blokes the way they didn't flinch and kept putting their head over the ball no matter what the other team tried to do to us."
The Saints aren't all grunt though as their three talls in the forward line provided plenty of polish when the midfield's hard work pushed the ball forward.
Captain Luke Matthews, Glen Johnson and Tristan McCormack kicked 16 goals between them as they formed a strong three-pronged attack in front of the sticks.
It was the six goal haul from six and a half footer Tristan McCormack that pleased Matthews especially.
"He's still only 16," the coach said in amazement.
"He's training with the seniors each week now which I think has helped improve his skills and confidence.
"Having a tall player like him in our forward line is a bonus for us because it takes away one of the other team's blokes who can match up with him and get up there with him."
While never happy with losing, North Coffs co-coach David Velt wasn't as upset with the loss as he was a week ago when a lack of discipline was a big issue.
"At least we concentrated on the things that we can control today instead of wasting time worrying about the umpires," he said.
"We were beaten by a better team on the day but the signs were good.
"More often than not we'd break even in the in-close contests, it was just that we'd get let down by a skill error going forward which turned the ball over and then we were cut apart by a couple of their players sitting forward of the ball."