Coffs Rugby back with win grins
SCORES were close but Coffs Rugby had few problems in today's 17-15 win over Hastings Valley at Port Macquarie's Oxley Oval.
In a major surprise, the playing surface didn't inhibit the standard of rugby despite being torn up in the rain last weekend.
"I saw the squabble going on during the week about damage to the ground and thought we'd be playing in mud but it was actually close to perfect," Coffs skipper Paul Butcher remarked.
"Both sides had an even go at things and Vikings were back to full strength and played as well as you'd expect of them at home.
"But I never really thought at any stage that we'd be beaten, despite the narrow margin at the end."
Butcher admits ball handling still needs a lot of work, especially in attack.
"We broke the line often but didn't capitalise," he said.
"Our forwards were also forced to do a lot of work as the home side were as good as us in the scrums.
"However it was a pretty tidy effort and has us going upwards and now I can't wait to take on University next weekend.
"Their great effort against Pirates today puts a lot of interest into the meeting."
Butcher said fullback Kris Kent had a brilliant attacking game but couldn't resist a good-natured dig at his goal-kicking rival.
"He missed an absolute sitter right in front of the posts," he laughed.
"Others who went well were Mika Kama ... naturally ... and AJ McLauchlan is playing fantastic rugby for us at the moment."
Whereas tempers flared in the meeting further down the road between Pirates and Marlins, it was the spectators at Stuart Park who drew the ire of match officials.
At one stage referee Andrew Birch was forced to use his authority and halted the match to settle down some more rambunctious members of the sideline audience.
Coffs Rugby bt Hastings Valley Vikings 17-15
Port Macquarie Pirates bt Southern Cross University Marlins 26-7
South West Rocks Gaolers bt Kempsey Cannonballs 40-19
Port Pirates bt SCU 43-0
Kempsey bt Bowravilles Goannas 25-15
Hastings bt Coffs Harbour Crabs 19-7
Porrt Pirates bt SCU (no score available)
Kempsey bt Coffs Harbour 24-19