Coffs will have to harden up to survive today’s encounter against Hastings Valley.
Coffs will have to harden up to survive today’s encounter against Hastings Valley.

Coffs Rugby in for a tough match

GETTING physical could be the key to Coffs Rugby surviving today’s visit from reigning premier Hastings Valley.

Coffs suffered a shock loss to Kempsey in round one and club spokesman Paul Butcher points out one glaring reason for that defeat was the unexpected physicality of the Cannonballs.

“We got a rude shock last week and coach Geoff Mould really gave it to the boys at training in the hope they would learn a lesson,” he said.

“To win at this level you have to get physical. That’s something the Vikings specialise in and they won’t disappoint us during this visit.”

Vikings also ran into problems last weekend, drawing against cross-town rivals Port Pirates and sparking an ugly round of bickering in the southern media.

Images have been circulating, alleged to show the aftermath of at least one player assaulted in back play and the zone is believed to be waiting for the paperwork to cite a Vikings forward.

“Hastings will come out firing and as defending title-holders, won’t want to leave Coffs with no wins from two starts,” Butcher said.

“With all the background noise down there this week they’ll be in a worse mental state than us, so we have to capitalise on that advantage.”

Butcher said there was a pressing need to collect early-season points on the ladder and not just because of the scaled-down size of the premiership.

“This side won’t even go close to full strength until some time in May,” he said.

“Will Guest is still out of the area working and Josh Rayner won’t return from playing in England for another month or more.

“And today alone we have Richard Officer getting married, John Korff and Kris Kent away, Craeg Pow and Aaron Hardaker in reserve grade. There’s a lot of responsibility resting on the shoulders of that side today.

“But we can do it by forgetting about the Hastings reputation and going in hard from the start.”

Coffs Rugby 1st XV

15. Peter Shaw 14. Henry Rawiri 13. Vile Vatuvile 12. Dylan Hurley 11. Caleb Fisher 10. Lachlan Foley 9. Robert Denne 8. Craig Landrigan (captain) 7. Jimmy Bellamy 6. Joe Dal Pozzo 5. Brad Henry 4. Gerard de Carle 3. Matt Joyce 2. Cameron Wainwright 1. Nathan Wallace.

Coach: Geoff Mould



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