Sport

AFL decider set to be a classic local derby

It's hard to find a clear favourite ahead of today's AFL North Coast grand final between Coffs Swans and Sawtell/Toormina. Photo: Rob Wright/Coffs Coast Advocate
It's hard to find a clear favourite ahead of today's AFL North Coast grand final between Coffs Swans and Sawtell/Toormina. Photo: Rob Wright/Coffs Coast Advocate Rob Wright

HAVE you got a coin?

It might be the best way to decide your tip for this afternoon's AFL North Coast grand final.

Recent history doesn't really offer up a good guide to help you decide.

Sawtell/Toormina and Coffs Swans have met on four occasions this season with the record standing at two wins apiece and now the two teams prepare to face off in the ultimate tie-breaker.

The two respective coaches are expecting a tight tussle with both agreeing the premiership trophy will simply go to the team who performs better on the day.

For Coffs Swans playing-coach Jay Guthrie, performing better comes down to one simple factor.

"I always tell the team to respect the opposition, and first and foremost, make sure you beat your opponent," Guthrie said.

"If you have 22 players that beat their opponents, you're going to win the game."

Fairly simple.

And judging from the Sawtell/Toormina attitude, simple is the way to go.

Doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well will be the focus for the Saints, a team about to embark on its ninth grand final in 10 years.

"We're not taking anything for granted," Sawtell/Toormina coach Jim Angel said.

"There's no next week after this. No more training sessions to run out sore spots or practice.

"We need to get it right on this one day."

This one day is something the Swans have been waiting a long time for.

The red and whites last played in a grand final back in 2006 and haven't lifted the premiership trophy since Tony Waterfall and Peter Morgan did so after winning in 1999.

Guthrie said becoming the team that could possibly break the drought has been a long process.

"To get there (the grand final) is half the battle," he said.

"To play consistent footy in the grand final is the aim and the premiership is the goal."

Not that the Saints aren't without a dash of added motivation.

In the past two grand finals, Sawtell/Toormina has led at the final break only to be overrun in the final quarter.

Angel said more recent history is driving his team.

"When the Swans beat us in the second semi we were trounced everywhere," he said.

"Our players know they didn't play at their best or stick to the game plan and the boys want a chance to show what we're really capable of."

In a contest which marks 20 years since the first AFL North Coast was played at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Guthrie said it won't be because of any outstanding individual efforts if the Swans win.

"We're not a team of individual stars, but we work together as a unit very well," he said.

"The biggest card we can play is if we play consistently as a team."

Angel said sticking to the game plan like the Saints did in last week's emphatic Preliminary Final win will see the Saints prevail in the premiership decider.

"It's more to do with how we play," he said.

"We've got a game plan and we can't stray from it."

So who will win?

It may be simply be a toss of the coin job in the first all-Coffs Harbour grand final since 2009.

GRAND FINAL TEAMS
COFFS SWANS
B: T Clayton, S McGrath, S Hardes
HB: M Pearce, J Goding, M Cannan
C: S Gleeson, J Carey, R Clayton
HF: A Gosling, F Duryea, L O'Halloran
F: N Von Schill, J Guthrie, J Brown
Foll: P Curtain, M Wilcox, T Snow
I/C (from): J Lyon, I Slapp, C McDaid, D Bear, M Jones, N Whittle, J Mapleson, S Burow
SAWTELL/TOORMINA
B: M Flynn, R Wooley, A Burkitt
HB: R Connor, N Johnson, E Schmitt
C: S Taylor, L Matthews, D Johnson
HF: J Ellis-Cluff, M Couzens, B Foote
F: G Faithfull, R Zappula, J Angel
Foll: A Clarke, S Matthews, L Benson
I/C (from): B Matthews, J Neaves, M Cole, T Baade, J Drage, M McHeyzer

EXPERT TIPS
Rod Macpherson Saints (5)
Rob McKelvie Swans (15)
Matt Crawley Swans (19)
Scott Abercrombie Swans (36)
Adi Campbell Saints (37)
Pete Gallagher Swans (12)
Darren Funston Saints (15)
Brad Greenshields Saints (1)
 

GRAND FINALS
At C.ex Coffs International Stadium
Seniors - 2.45pm: Coffs Swans v Sawtell/Toormina
Reserves - 12.50pm: Sawtell/Toormina v Port Macquarie
Under-18s - 10.45am: Port Macquarie v Sawtell/Toormina
Admission - $10 Adults, $5 Pensioners/Students

Topics:  afl north coast afl nsw/act australian rules c.ex coffs international stadium coffs swans grand final jim angel sawtell-toormina saints



Sea level rise is a myth: reader

Rising sea level prediction for Coffs Harbour.

What's got the Coffs Coast talking?

Sand man takes to the high seas

SAND ARTIST: John Thiering recently performed on a cruise.

Sand artist seizes opportunity to perform on cruise ship.

A hundred years of selfless service

The Pacific City Lions Club are just one of the local Lion's clubs that will be serving up food for the big day.

Lions Clubs get ready to celebrate 100th birthday.

Local Partners

Cheaper building fees are here to stay

COFFS Harbour City councillors voted to waiver developer contributions and make building secondary dwellings cheaper.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Petula Clark delighted to sing live for Australian fans

STILL TOURING: English singer Petula Clark is coming to Queensland.

English star Petula Clark still puts on a great show, even at 84.

Do you really know your road rules?

Cars travel around the roundabout at Villiers and Fitzroy Street. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

List of the top 10 most misunderstood road rules in NSW.

Sam Armytage and Tom Cruise? Saaaaay what?

SAMANTHA Armytage has hit back at rumours she’s dating Tom Cruise, following reports the pair had hit it off during an interview on Sunrise.

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

Songwriter honours flood volunteers who helped their neighbours.

Lismore songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by strangers' kindness

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Jetty views don't come any better than this

Property Camperdown St

The Real Estate Property Guide is online now

Kids will love living in this new Coffs Harbour estate

FAMILY FRIENDLY: This children's playground is the latest family-friendly feature of the Elements@Coffs estate.

Local land estate unveils newest family friendly feature

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!