Coffs Harbour full back Warren Wellington goes for a run.
Coffs Harbour full back Warren Wellington goes for a run. TREVOR VEALE

Coffs take win from Axemen

AFTER another close loss yesterday, Orara Valley find themselves sitting on the bottom of the Group 2 table for the first time since the early 1990s.

A penalty goal kicked by five-eighth Keeden Williams with only 20 minutes remaining gave the Axemen a 20-18 lead. From that point on though, the Axemen never looked like winning at Advocate Park.

Coffs Harbour ran in two quick tries to Andy Miller and Rick McGrady and the Axemen failed to complete a single set in the all-important final 20 minutes.

Having seen his team let an opportunity slip through their fingers – literally – Orara Valley coach Darryl Fisher could only bemoan the error rate that is haunting the Axemen each week.

“Groundhog Day again,” Fisher said.

“Overall, I think it’s a horrible reign of form that we’re in where anything that can go wrong just seems to at the critical moment.”

The Axemen had opportunities to score more than the three tries they did yesterday but a pushed pass or dropped ball often saw chances go begging.

While Fisher was frustrated with this, he admitted that close to the tryline sometimes the structure that he prefers is allowed to go out the window

“If it comes off we win the game so you’ve got to balance it and I’ve got to give them that right,” he said.

A fifth close loss plus a draw means that Orara aren’t playing like a bottom-placed team but they need to find a way to produce an 80-minute performance to turn it around.

“We’ve got the combinations to do it and we’ve got the ability to do it and there’s only a few patches of the game where if we get those right we’ll win most games,” the coach said.

“Obviously mentally it’s a big barrier for us to jump at the moment and finding that mental toughness to do it.”

Coffs Harbour played the same football that they have over the past fortnight and their third win on the trot sees them now sitting in equal fifth position with Nambucca Heads and Macleay Valley.

Their clash against Macleay on Sunday is now a crucial encounter.

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