Marlins new coach in debut
AFTER sitting out the opening round of the season with a bye, Southern Cross University makes the first appearance of the new rugby season today at TG Jung Quarries Rugby Park.
It's the northern local derby with Coffs Harbour Snappers and marks the first appearance of coach Brett Davis.
Marlins first grader Simon Donald said the players were keyed up and gave a quiet tip it would be a torrid affair.
"The big men will lead from the front with captain Matthew Potts giving inspiration," he said.
"If they can get through all the dirty work, then it's up to the rest.
"It's our first real test and bit of an experiment for the new coach.
"Brett has awarded starting positions to those who have trained hard and put the effort in through the pre season."
The club has been a production line for talent and Donald said more of those juniors who have come through the ranks are about to get a good crack at first grade level.
"These include MNC Colts rep players Damon Rootes, Jordan Fisher and Matt Travers," he said.
"This will help inject some youthful quality and experience into the side.
"Our new attacking and defensive game plan structures have shown several moments of brilliance in the pre-season trial games.
"So they will be exciting to watch now with a set squad and the summer rust and cobwebs blown off.
"There's no better way to start our season than with a high intensity local derby grudge match."
Snappers began last weekend with a handsome win over new club Wauchope.
Coach Rob Waddy was thrilled with the progress made by his new team and was full of confidence they could keep the momentum rolling against the Marlins.
Wauchope is a quiet tip to register first points while the Hastings juggernaut should keep rolling.
Coffs Harbour v SCU
Hastings Valley v Port Macquarie
Wauchope v Kempsey