In bed with the enemy
RUGBY UNION: Last weekend players from the SCU Marlins and Coffs Harbour Snappers were in the trenches together representing Mid North Coast at the NSW Country Championships in Tamworth.
Today they'll be in enemy camps.
The young Mid North Coast side performed admirably at the Country Championships, with co-coach and Marlins leader AJ Gilbert looking forward to watching the players go to the next level back at club rugby.
"We were in the top tier of the championships. We could have brought in good players from other areas but we wanted to keep the development going of the young players from the Mid North Coast,” Gilbert said.
"I was particularly impressed with some of the young Snappers players, they really stood up.”
Mid North Coast suffered close defeats to Central West and the Central Coast during the two-day tournament to finish fourth.
But this weekend it's back to club rugby and teammates from seven days ago will be ripping into each other from the opening whistle.
"Both sides have players backing up and there'll be some good battles, for example James Bellamy and Matthew Potts in the front row,” Gilbert said.
The Marlins suffered a heartbreaking loss in the first derby of the year.
Having dominated possession for most of the 80 minutes away from home, the Marlins led 25-19 deep into the second half before young Snapper Carter Hoy barged his way over for the match-winning try.
Gilbert said the wounds of that loss are still raw amongst the playing group.
"Looking back that was definitely a game we should have won.
"It's going to be tough to rectify because they're coming off some good wins and we've had some close loses.
"But I'm confident with how the boys have been preparing and I think we can get a tight win.”
The Marlins v Snappers game kicks-off at 2.45pm today at Southern Cross University.