Coffs razzle dazzles Pirates
THRILLED supporters gave Coffs Rugby a standing ovation after the team destroyed Port Macquarie 43-12 at Coffs Coast Advocate Rugby Park on Saturday.
The defeat seriously hampered the Pirates' premiership dream as it occurred with their run-on side close enough to full strength despite arriving at the venue short on bench players.
Winning coach Geoff Mould was jubilant with the all-round performance, particularly winning the early forward battle that opened the door for the backs to run riot in the period after half-time.
“Didn't they play just so brilliantly,” he said happily while receiving hearty congratulations from opposite number Mark Minor.
“Back in Randwick days when we won the comp all the time they used to say we didn't have forwards when we actually had a magnificent pack.
“Just like these blokes, with their willingness to wear the opposition down no matter how long it takes.
“Once you get on top it's no surprise if the backs go berserk but it was a general contribution from every player in the team.”
Take nothing away from the Pirates, the participation of their big men in the early forward battle was something to behold.
For the opening 20 minutes it raged to all points of the field but the style of the match switched to attack when Korie Paio danced across for a sensational individual try, only to gaze in wonderment when Coffs turned on some razzle of their own when Will Guest ran an arc through the middle to put Kris Kent over in the corner (for a try credited to Vile Vatuvili).
And then it was on. Scrum half Faavae Suaesi began producing wizardry with the ball in his hands and Guest's mesmerism in the company of Hurley, Spence and Kent was a joy to behold.
The home side led by seven points at the break but that was merely the calm before an attacking storm of whirlwind proportions.
Suaesi raced in from a scrum win on the quarter before Hurley landed the try of the year. Coming off the line, No.8 Paul Butcher cracked the Pirates open and found Guest in support nearing half way.
The fullback launched evasion movements on both sides of his path before finding Hurley cruising infield in support and from there it was ‘shut the gate.'
The win delivers Coffs Rugby the minor premiership. Next Saturday they entertain Pirates once again in the major semi-final with the winner's prize being grand final host.
Hastings Valley and Kempsey clash in the elimination semi at Stuart Park in Port Macquarie.
Coffs Rugby 43 (Dylan Hurley 2, Faavae Suaesi, Cameron Wainwright, Vile Vatuvili, Kris Kent, Matt Spence tries; Kris Kent 4 conversions) def Port Macquarie Pirates 12 (Matt Mane, Korie Paio tries; Aaron Robinson conversion).
Second grade: Coffs Rugby def South West Rocks Gaolers 18-16.