Port to settle minor premiership
LEADING contenders Coffs Rugby and Port Pirates will almost certainly decide the zone minor premiership at Coffs Coast Advocate Rugby Park today.
The home team will go into the game at full strength for the first time this season, with both senior grades available on the same day at the same venue.
Coffs won the round-one match but was lucky to escape with a draw in a night visit by Pirates.
"Port is well coached by Marc Minor and has quality players right across the field," Coffs captain Paul Butcher said.
"We will put more pressure on their No.10 (Sam McNeill), who has been clearly the best player when both teams have met this year."
Port has been hampered by the loss of prop forwards Jeremy Brigden and Geoff Lee but its real danger comes from a backline oozing class.
All matches start a half hour earlier so players will be on time for tonight's rugby ball.
Meanwhile, Southern Cross University coach Dave Nicol says the season goes on the line today in the visit to Crescent Head to tackle Kempsey.
"This is a massive game for both clubs, as we won't meet again this year, with the winner going on to take fourth place," he said.
"We have got to treat it like an early semi-final. During the break for the last two weeks the team has been doing a lot of bonding together.
"The boys have got to get out there to do it for each other and treat this match as a really big opportunity."
MNC RUGBY TEAMS
Coffs Rugby XV
15. K Kent, 14. M Spence, 13. D Hurley, 12. A Keene, 11. P Shaw, 10. S McVicar, 9. B Flemming, 8. M Kama, 7. AJ McLauchlan, 6. P Butcher, 5. C Tonks, 4. C Landrigan, 3. N Joyce, 2. L Devery, 1. C Pow. Coach: Geoff Mould.
SCU Marlins XV
15. J Rayner, 14. R Trembath, 13. A Trolley, 12. O Sandstrom, 11. J Hoffman, 10. S Donald, 9. N Burley, 8. P Harrison, 7. J McPherson, 6. BJ Francis, 5. G Morrison, 4. C McDonough, 3. M Glover, 2. E McDonough, 1. M Potts. Coach: Dave Nicol.