Stamping their authority
By GREG WHITE
DEFENCE wins big matches, so the old football saying goes and Woolgoolga proved it true in their 41-6 demolition of Coffs Harbour at the Advocate Park yesterday.
Straight from the kickoff the Seahorses went back to old style principles with props Lee Harvey and Xavier Sullivan controlling the centre of the ruck in both defence and attack.
Once they'd stamped their authority the Comets didn't stand a chance.
"We had the right attitude with outstanding defence in the first half till we went off the boil in the second period," winning captain coach John Cross confirmed.
"They got too eager to tackle and made some errors, not that I'm complaining of course."
Cross said the initial plan had been to give the ball air.
"Honestly, the boys were getting off on tackling so I thought I shouldn't stop them," he said.
"It meant Coffs kept popping up the ball so we had enough possession to get on the end of some good tries.
"A couple of times we went overboard with what we did but it finished okay in the end."
With Woopi leading 27-4 at the break, the match was as good as over.
But the Comets didn't stop trying despite not being able to break the Woolgoolga line.
"Penetration was a problem but you have to work with the cards that are dealt to you," Coffs coach Scott Mieni admitted.
While he did his best to put a rosy glow on the performance Mieni was obviously visibly shaken by the loss.
"I'll keep leading and try to improve the best I can," he said.
"The effort was there when a few opportunities came up but you can't hide the fact we're lacking in a lot of areas.
"We know we haven't got the flamboyance of other teams but you have to keep persevering."
Once Harvey and Sullivan had led the forward pack to mastery of the field the Sea Horses added another classic touch with the numbers six, seven and nine taking total control of play.
Arthur Murray and hooker Matt Grayson were sensational, as ever.
But this was the day Murray the Sorcerer's apprentice - half Blake Seymour - finally came into his own.
The confidence the youngster is showing under the guidance of 'the King' is remarkable.
"He played really well as they all did," Cross agreed.
"It was a good intro to the next hit out against the Sharks."