Orara Valley and Woolgoolga hold the first meeting since 2014.
Orara Valley and Woolgoolga hold the first meeting since 2014. Leigh Jensen

League observing Anzac traditions

THE Anzac legend will be commemorated and celebrated when Orara Valley and Woolgoolga meet tomorrow at Coramba.

Axemen president Peter Spinks said the traditions of Anzac Day would be observed one day early and he trusts all players and patrons will respond accordingly.

"Players will wear special jumpers which will be auctioned after the game," he said.

"Part of the proceeds will go to the Coffs Harbour Ex-Services Sub-Branch widows' fund.

"Also, all ex-service men and women are invited to be our guests with free admission as a gesture of our thanks."

The business of rugby league will naturally go on and after the shock round three loss to Grafton, Spinks believes coach Will Lockwood's promises to build a home ground fortress is at the first stage.

"It was a big score in the loss to the Ghosts but a lot more was going on than it seems," he said.

"Ant Cowan's try at the start didn't cause us to slacken off at all and we were still in the game until nearing half-time.

"For most teams, that's a very dangerous stage and when Grafton scored three tries in the space of eight minutes, we had a setback that we couldn't come back from.

"Especially when they came out running hot after the break, there was little way we could build momentum.

"It was a blow to lose Trent Cohen for the second half when he was going so well but overall, every side has an off day and it will get better.

"After one trial, that game was just our second outing this year and the side has a long way to go before it clicks.

"As the coach said, he's just learning the ins and outs of the players and eventually everything should come together."

Remarkably, Woolgoolga's 2016 style has drawn comparisons with the great Orara sides of the 1990s and Spinks is expecting the attacking raids to come thick and fast.

"At training we spoke about needing to improve our defence and concentrated on ball work and getting combinations right," he added.

Meanwhile, the third round of the AAMI Country Rugby League age championships will be played today in Taree. In under-18s, Sawtell's talented trio Jack Conlan, Thomas Sanders and Jedd Mitchell, will join James Weimar of Nambucca Heads, in the East Coast Dolphins team taking on Central Coast.



Macksville v Coffs Harbour

2.30pm Allen Gillett Oval

Referee: Nathan Grace


Sawtell v Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo

2.45pm Rex Hardaker Oval

Referee: Dave Honeybrook

Orara Valley v Woolgoolga

2.30pm Coramba Sportsground

Referee: Lloyd Lynwood

South Grafton v Grafton

2.45pm McKittrick Park

Referee: Nathan Grace

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