PERFECT WARM-UP: Today is the final time the Coffs Breakers and Sawtell/Toormina will meet in the home and away season.
PERFECT WARM-UP: Today is the final time the Coffs Breakers and Sawtell/Toormina will meet in the home and away season. Brad Greenshields

Local derby a dress rehearsal for finals

THIS afternoon doubles as a dress rehearsal for the AFL North Coast semi finals with the same combatants set to face off in several weeks' time at the business end of the season.

In the last local derby of the home and away season the competition's top two teams, Coffs Breakers and Sawtell/Toormina, face off at Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park.

There'll be plenty of pride on the line as well as a potential psychological advantage ahead of the scheduled meeting on August 19 in the second semi-final.

The Breakers hold a 2-1 advantage from their three meetings so far this year thanks to a narrow 11-point victory in the previous derby but the Saints will be desperate to even the ledger.

Sawtell/Toormina only just snuck home last week with a nail biting five point win over Port Macquarie.

The Saints will be looking for the return of key players from injury to bolster their ranks and will also know that playing in Coffs Harbour will see more players available.

The Breakers will start this match as favourites but know that the biggest risk is to take a wounded Sawtell/Toormina lightly.

Grafton hits the highway today to make the trip south to take on Port Macquarie.

The Tigers only win of the season came at home against Port back in Round 3 but playing the Magpies at Wayne Richards Park poses a very different and much more difficult challenge.

These two teams meet again in a fortnight's time in the first semi-final when both clubs' seasons will be riding on the result.

AFL NORTH COAST

Coffs Breakers v Sawtell/Toormina

Port Macquarie v Grafton



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