Coffs Swans player Nick Butcher tries a hand pass to take his team on the attack as Sawtell defenders Pat Sens and Adam Penfold
Coffs Swans player Nick Butcher tries a hand pass to take his team on the attack as Sawtell defenders Pat Sens and Adam Penfold

Swans upset Saints

Reports by CHRIS McKINLEY

Coffs Swans 62

Sawtell 47

ONCE again the prospect of having the possibility of a premiership team going through a season undefeated has been thwarted.

The footballing bookmakers must have had a field day on Saturday after the Coffs Swans inflicted the upset of the season by knocking Sawtell from the top of the ladder thanks to their 15 point victory.

Swans coach Jeff Reed questioned the commitment of many of his players before Saturday's game but he was proved wrong by a desperate display from his team that has kept alive their chances of making the finals.

A good measurement of a team's determination on the day is how many packs a player from your team is on the bottom of.

Probably 75 per cent of the time when a stoppage was called by the umpire, it was a Swans player handing the ball back to the umpire for the restart.

Midfielder Nick Butcher would be going close to winning the best and fairest award this year for the Swans after another hard-running display.

When these two sides met earlier in the year, it was the Sawtell players who constantly made space and carved up their opponents, but thanks to Butcher, David Colman and Damien Elks every time the ball was in open space, it was not just a single Swans player who was first to the ball, but a group of them.

In all fairness to Sawtell, they did run out with a patched up side and sorely felt the absence of Luke and Dean Matthews among others.

This may just be the wake-up call that a class outfit like Sawtell needed before they take on North Coffs and Port Macquarie in three of their last five matches.

Quite simply though, if the Saints return to full strength but play without any desire for the hard ball they will be found wanting come finals time.

The Swans proved that in a performance that may just turn around their season and have the smile return to the coach's face.

Coffs Swans 2.1 5.2 7.6 9.8 (62) d Sawtell 1.3 4.7 5.8 6.11 (47).

Goals

Swans: N. Butcher (2), I. Crawley (2), B. Walsh, G. Wingfield, T. Waterfall, A. Garrett, D. Colman.

Sawtell: D. Meyers (2), A. Pearson, M. Couzens, D. Rava, B. McKay.

Best

Swans: N. Butcher, D. Elks, D. Colman, S. McGrath.

Sawtell: J. Hardy, H. Schmidt, R. Dagger, M. Couzens.



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