Vikings raided by Coffs rugby
By GREG WHITE
SURELY no feast has been served up to patrons like the slop on offer in Coffs Rugby's 118-0 decimation of Hastings Valley Vikings on Saturday.
And how unfortunate was the decision to host the 'meal' at Coffs Coast International Stadium where the panoramic vista presented every blunder by the visitors in glorious technicolour.
As one Coffs supporter colourfully put it: "If the boys had the smell of blood in their nostrils and hadn't decided to arse about in the second half, the score would have gone past a double century to zip."
It took eight minutes for Coffs to post first points with the Vikings bumbling around in an attempt to get the ball into play.
In the first of many questions arising from the game, did referee Matt Punch really have to show the visitors how a scrum was formed?
Did he find it necessary to offer helpful hints on a how a lineout should be constructed?
It certainly looked that way.
After the first Coffs crossing the Vikings next three touches of the ball came kicking off following three consecutive touchdowns and with the score 26-0 on the quarter hour, a growing debacle was imminent.
"My blokes didn't have much sympathy," Coffs head coach Paul Butcher confessed in a dressing room rippling with laughter post-match.
"They remembered a few incidents from last year and if the boot had been on the other foot, the Vikings would have taken delight in flogging us."
Coffs can't be scolded for how the game panned out.
Nor can the Viking players, especially the eight who backed up from second grade.
"We put on some really good tries," Butcher said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
"The backing up of the ball carrier was fantastic."
It should be, when a patch of bindi-eye would pose a bigger threat than the Hastings defence.
Without much football to report on a couple of quaint events are worth mention.
The score was 59-0 at the break.
The sideline flag-wavers gave up standing behind the try line for kicks at goal and gave Punchy the referee their opinions from wherever they happened to be.
So desperate did Coffs become for something - anything - to happen in the later stages, they continually threw the ball back to the visitors in front of their posts, inviting an attacking raid.
Nobody was interested enough to take the bait.
Coffs head to Forster this Saturday for the final round of the minor premiership while it's hoped the Vikings remember Old Bar will be visiting Port Macquarie.
COFFS RUGBY 118 (Mitch Lind 3, Alex Hulme, Chris Webb, Matt Kent 2, Kevin Simpson, Tim Pollard, Rob Ferguson, Mark Hine, Matt Hoy, Dan Bavister, Kris Flannigan, Angus Garland, Dave McCartney tries; Garland 7, Hoy, McCartney 2, Hine, Bavister, Lind conversions) def HASTINGS VALLEY VIKINGS nil.
Scrums: Hastings Valley 15-5 (uncontested second half).
Penalties: Hastings Valley 8-2.
Lineouts: Coffs Rugby 8 (one against throw), Hastings Valley 1.
Second Grade: Coffs Rugby 27 def Hastings Valley 0.
Under 18's: Coffs Rugby 22 def Hastings Valley 7.