Breakers wipe out club rivals
COFFS Rugby again has two genuine premiership contenders.
Breakers caused a minor upset by downing intra-club rivals Coffs Crushers 11-8 at Coffs Coast Advocate Rugby Park on Saturday.
The 2009 grand finalists turned on a fine exhibition of quality rugby and for the first time since two top grade sides were introduced, the spite and over-exuberance was left out of the equation.
Winning captain-coach Dylan Hurley agreed that was a good thing and allowed both outfits to get an early experience of what they need to tackle the two Port sides when they face them on the Saturdays which count.
Breakers were clearly the better side in the first session despite trailing 8-6 at the break, but after a slow start coming back, they found plenty of momentum at the finish.
“I wasn’t surprised we won as it’s been coming for a couple of weeks,” Hurley said.
“We’ve lost six games by less than six points, so I always felt we deserved to be up there.
“Attitude has really improved and if we keep that going right to the end, there’s no need to give up because of some idea we’re not good enough.”
One downside was far too much chatter in the heat of the moment and referee Michael Tonks put a lid on that by selecting Chris Jones as the one to receive the yellow card.
Eventually, the lads settled down with the young Breakers forward pack beginning to shine against their exalted rivals.
“Daniel Wilson is only 19 years old and he’s kicked on for us and Adam Dunworth was also awesome today,” Hurley added.
Crushers still had the ascendancy with five minutes remaining, but their fate was sealed when Dwayne Fox crossed in the corner for the winning touchdown.
Skipper Craig Landrigan was philosophical about the loss and had other reasons to regret the outcome.
“Full marks to Breakers, but the upset means the points table is such that the two southern sides remain up the top and we’re going to have trouble overtaking Hastings Valley,” he remarked.
“It means the Coffs sides are almost certain to play a knockout game and getting a replay of last year is less likely.”
Landrigan blamed the usual suspect as reason for the loss.
“Fitness let us down,” the skipper lamented.
“We were on their line for a good 15 or 20 minutes attacking and all we had to do was get over and finish them off there but with a couple of runs against the play, we were left struggling for breath.
“I’m confident we’ll get it right by the end, however.”
Mid North Coast Rugby Results
Coffs Breakers 11 (Dwayne Fox try; Kris Kent 2 penalties) def Coffs Crushers 8 (Joel Riddle try; David Angus-Crouch penalty).
Port Macquarie Pirates def Hastings Valley Vikings 21-15.
South West Rocks Gaolers def Kempsey Cannonballs 24-17.
Kempsey def Bowraville Goannas 17-7.
Hastings Valley def Port Pirates 18-7.
Coffs Crabs def SCU Marlins 38-15.
Coffs Rugby def South West Rocks 38-12 (postponed match).
Port Pirates def Hastings Valley 46-0.
South West Rocks def Kempsey 23-12.