Coffs Harbour?s Connor Barrett, left, steals the line-out ball from Old Bar?s Todd Kennewell.
Coffs Harbour?s Connor Barrett, left, steals the line-out ball from Old Bar?s Todd Kennewell.

Show no mercy

By GREG WHITE

WHAT a difference two weeks makes in football.

In 14 days Coffs Rugby have gone from near perfect winners over Manning River, to losing their first match in four years to Dorrigo.

Last Saturday brought them back to the winners list with a 76-0 drubbing of the Old Bar Clams but the execution was nothing like the style shown in their last home appearance.

"During the first 20 minutes I was tearing my hair out," coach, Paul Butcher, said.

"Dropped ball, mis-directed passes ? it was a nightmare.

"Our defensive effort was as bad as against Dorrigo."

To be fair to the underdogs, Old Bar were surprisingly agile in the opening exchanges when it's revealed they'd travelled north with just 23 players and most had completed a full second grade game.

Their tactic was to bustle Coffs at every opportunity and for a while it worked.

"Our running line in the backs was pretty dismal and it took some time to straight it up," Butcher said.

"And there was too much dropped ball.

"There may have been some nervousness from the loss last week but you grow up learning to catch a ball and I can't explain why the skill varies from week to week."

With a 31-0 lead by the break, Coffs were never going to lose.

But it wasn't till after the change of ends that the premiers began cleaning up their act.

"The halves are still inexperienced and it wasn't till the second half they started talking and driving the forwards on," Butcher said.

"Punchy (Damien Punch) the halfback has to yap all game and there are blokes there who'll listen to him.

"We started finding holes when we got in the driver's seat."

Butcher said he'll concentrate on technique at training this week to clean-up the team's act.

"Iv'e got Murray Archibald and Brendan Hoy coming in to work with the backs.

"We'll have a talk and settle our nerves for the next start."

COFFS RUGBY 76 (Matt Hoy, Connor Barrett, Alex Hulme 3, Troy Pollard 2, Kevin Simpson tries; Wayne Dean 8 conversions) def OLD BAR CLAMS 0

Scrums: Old Bar 13-10

Penalties: Coffs 5-4

Lineouts: Coffs 20 (7 against the throw), Old Bar 4

Best Players: Matt Hoy, Connor Barrett, Damien Punch (Coffs Rugby) - Nathan Earley, Graeme Kellner, Ian Stockton (Old Bar)

Second grade: Coffs Rugby 44 d Old Bar 7

Under 18: No match played



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