Despite a hat-trick from Vilise Vatuvili Coffs Rugby couldn’t overcome Kempsey on Saturday.
Despite a hat-trick from Vilise Vatuvili Coffs Rugby couldn’t overcome Kempsey on Saturday. File

Coffs blasted out of water

AMBUSH plans were laid and paid off handsomely for Kempsey when they sprung the first upset of the 2011 Mid North Coast Rugby season on Saturday.

Bolstered by a bunch of graduates from last year’s under-19 side, the Cannonballs had too much speed on the edges for the highly-rated Coffs Harbour with the home side running out 29-17 victors.

Zone administrator Des Hoy said modifications to the backline had helped trigger Coffs Harbour’s downfall.

“There was a lack of speed and experience, mainly because many of the old heads were missing,” he said. “Kempsey have got some good young blokes in their side and I think they’d been planning for this to give them a good start to their season.

“But the Coffs second grade had a very good win and don’t be surprised if we see good prospects come up to first grade as they get fitter.”

Kempsey has had a spoiling reputation in recent years due to an older playing roster, forced on them by the loss of quality juniors once they leave school.

But fortune has smiled this year with the club retaining almost all of the 2010 Colts side.

Exciting youngsters like Todd Giddy and Reuben Jones have found jobs in their home town and the club has wasted no time in promoting them to the top grade.

Premiers Hastings Valley also ran into difficulties in their grand final rematch at Stuart Park with Port Pirates holding them to a 27-all draw.

“Pretty much the same side is sticking with the Vikings, but

Pirates have recruited a lot of players once again,” Hoy said.

“Not as many from overseas as in previous years but you can get an idea of the changing strength in the zone from the transfers I get across my desk.

“There are not so many this time for Coffs.

“I think that will tend to see the competition even out a bit this season.”


KEMPSEY CANNONBALLS 29 (Alfie Drew 2, Brad Yabsley, Andrew Clay tries; Kelvin Waters 2, Scott Williams conversions; Kelvin Waters penalty) def COFFS RUGBY 17 (Vile Vatuvili 3 tries; Kris Kent conversion)

Reserve Grade: Coffs Harbour Crabs 33 def Kempsey Cannonballs 22; SCU University and Bowraville postponed due to weather.

Under-19s: Kempsey Cannonballs received a forfeit from Coffs Harbour

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