Coffs Rugby lock out the Gaolers
WITH three tries posted inside the opening 15 minutes there was never any doubt Coffs Rugby wouldn't beat South West Rocks at Coffs Coast Advocate Rugby Park today.
The final score ended up 41-5 after Kris Kent could only manage to convert three of the seven tries and dogged resistance by the Gaolers on their own goal line spoiled three or four others.
But to use a racing parlance, it was like asking a Bowraville maiden handicap winner to beat Black Caviar at level weights.
Winning coach Geoff Mould was pleased with the effort and he's the only one who needs to be impressed.
"We've picked up a few injuries in recent weeks so I didn't call on a couple of the usual players," he said.
"It's not worth risking them if you don't need to and we still managed to come through.
"I thought it was a pretty good effort under the circumstances, especially with (the Gaolers) scrambling so hard in defence and causing us problems to get across the line."
There was a near-disaster in the opening minute with an injury to front-rower James Bellamy.
As a scrum was about to pack he copped the full force of the engaging forwards and slumped to the ground.
For a precaution, Bellamy was placed in a neck brace and stretchered from the field for further attention.
Once play resumed, Coffs signalled intentions with fly half Stu McVicar slicing through a gap and after double-handling by centres Hurley and Spence, the latter scored to the right of the posts.
The third try was close to classic rugby.
Charismatic Waqa Yaya finished off the movement to end 11 phases of play and while the visitors were next to post points, all the evidence suggested there was only going to be one outcome.
"I just loved the way young Stuart (McVicar) got involved in the game today," Mould said.
"Every now and then he tends to overplay his hand a touch but he's learning fast and his role was dominant out there.
"Perhaps he got caught up in the sudden bursts of enthusiasm which bring us undone once in a while but then again, while you're winning it's hard to be too tough."
The match had moments of humour, including the 'worst pass of the decade' thrown by skipper Paul Butcher when he broke loose down the short side with the try line wide open.
Only the fact he's been choked up with flu all week earned forgiveness.
"That was my shadow pass ... I toss one every now and then," Butcher laughed.
And there was the occasion when Chris Tonks bent down to assist brother forward Mika Kama to his feet ... but left the big man to his own devices as the ball came his way ... before having a try denied in the corner at the finish of the movement on the stroke of half time.
The win keeps the side unbeaten from five starts and on top of the ladder, still with a home game against Port Pirates in the locker.
COFFS RUGBY 41 (M Spence AJ McLauchlan W Yaya D Hurley K Kent C Landrigan P Butcher tries K Kent 3 conversions) bt SOUTH WEST ROCKS GAOLERS 5 (P Unuka try)
Second grade: Coffs Harbour Crabs bt Bowraville Goannas 22-7
Under 18s: Coffs Rugby bt Southern Cross University Marlins 32-12