HOME GROUND ADVANTAGE: Orara Valley coach Col Speed wants the Axemen to be a tough nut to crack every time they play at Coramba Sportsground.
HOME GROUND ADVANTAGE: Orara Valley coach Col Speed wants the Axemen to be a tough nut to crack every time they play at Coramba Sportsground. Brad Greenshields/Coffs Coast Ad

Axemen to fire up at home

IF there's one thing new Orara Valley coach Col Speed wants to see from his Axemen players, it's making sure they do all they can to turn Coramba Sportsground into a fortress.

"Basically we want to start priding ourselves on how we perform in home games,” Speed said.

"We're looking to ensure that this weekend with the crowd that we're expecting.”

The Axemen play their first home game of the season tomorrow in a local derby clash against Sawtell.

Both teams were on the end of a thumping last week but Speed said Orara Valley can bounce back quickly from the 42-0 loss to Nambucca Heads pointing out the morale within the group is very good.

"I think from our perspective our preparation before the first game wasn't ideal,” he said.

"We went in at half time only 10-0 down but our completion rate was less than 30%.

"If you give a team that much ball you're in trouble.”It's the exact same issue that frustrated Sawtell playing-coach Matt Wakefield last week so no doubt both ball control will be a focus for both combatants.

Woolgoolga returns to its home ground for the first time in 2017 when it meets Bellingen.

Coffs Harbour has drawn plenty of confidence from its 10 try effort last week but the Comets will need to enjoy's tomorrow's clash against Macksville as they have the next two weekends off due to Easter and a bye.

Coffs Harbour captain-coach Kerrod Selmes said it's been less than the ideal start to the season.

"Last week was only our third game as we only had the one trial whereas most clubs had two or three,” he said.

The nuggety hooker is wary of the Sea Eagles tomorrow.

"I think they've been flying under the radar. Nobody's been talking about them but I think they'll play finals,” Selmes said.

Grafton will see not only a local derby tomorrow but a grand final replay to boot.

GROUP 2

Sunday

Orara Valley v Sawtell

Coffs Harbour v Macksville

Woolgoolga v Bellingen

Grafton Ghosts v South Grafton

Bye: Nambucca Heads



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