Clubs unveil name of joint venture to shake up New England
THE South Cross University Marlins have won bragging rights over rivals Coffs Harbour Snappers after the clubs battled it out for new silverware.
Rugby union made its triumphant return to Rugby Park on Saturday as the Marlins and nappers enjoyed a local derby to remember - contesting the inaugural Alan Potts Shield.
It was the Marlins who had the honour of lifting the new trophy after defeating the Snappers in four out of the six ties across the day, including in the seniors first grade.
There were some positives for the Snappers though with their women's 10s side putting in a dominant performance for a 24 -12 win which included four tries, two of which went to captain Greta Smith.
The Snappers' other success came in the seniors second grade, running out 26 - 12 winners.
But the day ultimately belonged to the Marlins, who scored wins in the Under 14s, 16s, 18s and seniors first division.
Seniors captain AJ Gilbert said while he was proud of his charges in the top grade, he was just happy to see everyone back at the park, enjoying their rugby.
"It was great to have a normal Saturday at the rugby park again," he said.
"From the 14s right through to the ladies, everyone was just so pumped to get out and play football.
"It was just a good day all around and I can't thank the Snappers enough for everything they have done."
Gilbert was also on hand to lift the day's other inaugural trophy, the Des Hoy Cup, after his first division side beat their soon-to-be teammates 33-18.
"There were some individuals that really stood up, Pete Uikeluta carried hard all game and David Nicol really controlled things," he said.
"I said to the boys (before the game) - 'think back to isolation, everyone wanted to play footy and it's finally here so leave everything out on the park'.
"And they did."
The cup had been affectionately referred to as the Corona Cup in the lead up, a nod to their tumultuous few weeks which has seen the sides scramble to join the New England competition as a joint venture.
The combined entity will be known as the Harbour Knights and the first grade side will play in a red and blue strip to recognise the two proud clubs.
The second and third grade sides will use the Marlins and Snappers jerseys.
Seniors First Grade: SCU Marlins 33 - Coffs Harbour Snappers 18
Seniors Second Grade: Coffs Harbour Snappers 26 - SCU Marlins 12
Women's 10s: Coffs Harbour Snappers 24 - SCU Marlins 12
Under 18s: SCU Marlins 20 - Coffs Harbour Snappers 12
Under 16s: SCU Marlins 43 - Coffs Harbour Snappers 26
Under 14s: SCU Marlins 36 - Coffs Harbour Snappers 12