Tuesday night’s torrid rugby local derby left Dan Bavister searching for his dentist’s phone number.
Tuesday night’s torrid rugby local derby left Dan Bavister searching for his dentist’s phone number. Bruce Thomas

Coffs Rugby player loses tooth

IF Dan Bavister’s dentist ever doubted how serious the two Coffs Rugby teams are when they play against each other, he doesn’t anymore.

Bavister’s missing tooth after Tuesday night’s intra-club derby was proof enough that the Breakers and Crushers may be friends off the field, but they seriously do not like each other when they’re on it.

In damp conditions that were only ever going to be conducive to an error-riddled, physical contest, it was the Crushers who prevailed 3-0 thanks to the only score of the game – a penalty goal by David Angus-Crouch early in the second half.

The win moves the Crushers into second position on the MNC Rugby table, but it was a result that could so easily have gone the other way.

Kris Kent missed a penalty goal attempt for the Breakers that would have evened up the scores and with less than two minutes remaining, hooker Lachlan Chubb dropped a pass with an open try line only metres away.

For Breakers captain Dylan Hurley, this was one bonus point loss too many as far as he was concerned.

“I’m over it,” Hurley said.

As disappointed as he was, the Breakers skipper admitted the turnaround in attitude his players showed on Tuesday night at Coffs Coast Advocate Rugby Park showed a turnaround in the team’s fortunes is very close.

The skill errors were regrettable but certainly a trend that be can be reversed.

Attitude is something that can’t be worked on during training.

“Basic skills you can fix, but attitude you know straight away if it’s been fixed and it has been,” Hurley said.

“I’m confident that will keep happening.

“We had a chat after the game and everyone is not too down because we only got beaten by a penalty, which is good because we’ve been letting tries in and leaking points, but the only points they (the Crushers) got were off the boot.”

The final result almost never happened when referee Michael Tonks threatened to call the game off after an hour, so willing had the encounter become.

Tonks was forced to use his yellow card on more than one occasion and if one more flare up between these supposedly ‘friendly’ rivals had occurred he was happy to blow his whistle and walk off the park.

When full time was reached the Crushers surely thanked their superiority at the lineouts for the victory.

When under extreme territorial pressure the larger Crushers forward pack was able to grab possession and extinguish the threat. Crushers captain-coach Craig Landrigan knew that the match was never going to reach any great heights as a spectacle.

“Our game plan from the start was simply urgency and if the ball was on the ground, dive on it,” Landrigan said.

“I’m pleased with the win, but obviously there’s a lot the team can take out of it.

“Obviously we can’t get caught up in the niggle, both teams did it and unfortunately it didn’t make for the best game for spectators.”

Both teams must now recover in time for their important home matches being played this Saturday.

The Breakers have a real opportunity to break into the top four when they face South West Rocks, while the Crushers face the might of the undefeated Port Pirates.

COFFS CRUSHERS 3 (David Angus-Crouch pen goal) def COFFS BREAKERS 0.

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