Orara Valley, Macksville draw
SEVEN times the lead changed at Coramba Coliseum yesterday before Orara Valley and Macksville levelled-up for a 30-all draw.
While neither coach bemoaned sharing the spoils, Axemen boss Darryl Fisher believes the time is coming when getting the full allocation of points is vital.
“Today was crucial for our resurgence and we had a match-winning lead near the end but weren’t able to put the foot on their head,” he said.
“We’ve had some tight losses after competing in every game and if we can’t put them completely away it will be a cold ending for us.
“Over the next three games it’s essential we get some (outright) wins.”
Sixty points in 80 minutes usually indicates caution thrown to the wind – especially when it’s these two outfits involved – but on this occasion the fare on offer was fairly pedestrian with both sides trying their best to play mistake-free football.
The tries were scored because ball-runners saw an opportunity and decided to lay their ears back.
Macksville skipper Grant Coleman said his boys had been forced to do it tough and getting one point was ample reward for effort.
“We came in with a concerted effort of sticking to a plan and it got us through the first 20 (minutes) but when we started leaking possession, allowed them to get back into it,” he said.
“I’m not overly worried as there’s a place we’re heading for and the side is on track.”
After trading tries the Eagles skipped ahead before the home side leap-frogged them with a double.
For the next hour the sides went try-for-try until Orara stole a march soon after the second half commenced.
At one stage they boasted a ten-point margin but as Fisher agreed, couldn’t deliver the final death blow.
“The makeup of the side has changed and we no longer have the players who can turn it on for a short period and cut the other side up,” he added.
“When you’re like that you have to compensate by standing your ground when the opposition is on the ropes.”