By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE action has intensified at Coffs Harbour's BCU International Stadium with a veritable overload of Touch Football entertainment at the 2008 X-Blades National Touch League.
The healthy crowd that turned out in perfect weather yesterday had 113 of the highest quality games to choose from as the Open teams took the field in the morning in the Men's, Women's and Mixed Divisions.
Men's reigning champion South Queensland Sharks got their tournament off to a good start with a hard-fought 10-7 win over the Sydney Rebels.
The Rebels pushed the Sharks all the way and will be keen for a rematch should both teams clash again in the finals.
Last year's champions in the Women's Open the Brisbane City Cobras also made a positive opening to their title defence.
The Cobras girls were too fast and too skilful from the first whistle, annihilating ACT 16-1.
Mixed Open reigning champs Sharks also had a win in their opening game, downing a courageous Southern Suns outfit 8-5.
The Senior divisions continued yesterday after playing their opening rounds on Wednesday.
In the Men's 50s division the Sydney Mets and the Brisbane City Cobras are the frontrunners.
But the Southern Suns and Northern Eagles are still in with a shot at taking home the chocolates.
In the Senior Women's category South West Queensland is setting the standard, winning all of their games to date with relative ease.
The Southern Suns Men's 45s team is in similar form to the South West Queensland women, powering through their division and looking ominous ahead of the finals.
The Suns players have been relentless in attack, scoring 30 touchdowns and only letting in 11 in their four games.
Proving the talent really is spread across all age groups from each of the various regions competing in this showcase event, it is the Sydney Scorpions who are out in front on an undefeated run in the Men's 30s discipline.
The Scorpions have progressed with the Sydney Mets through to the semi-finals but the rest of the teams are still in the hunt as they line up in elimination finals.
South Queensland Sharks Maroon and Southern Suns played out the match of the day in the Senior Mixed category.
Both sides were undefeated going into the clash but the Sharks were too good running out 9-4 to secure top spot in the pool.
The game was a fantastic display of the skills involved in Mixed Touch Football, the highlight being a length of the field runaway intercept touchdown by the Suns' Colin Stevenson.
Action will continue from 8am this morning with the remaining Open pool games and the finals of the Senior divisions.