Excitement builds for grand final replay
MOST grand final replays don't live up to the hype but Coffs Harbour and Grafton should break the mould tomorrow.
The combatants from 2014's torrid decider have a little ground to make up after the emergence of South Grafton, who remain unbeaten after three rounds, while momentum is building at Sawtell.
One pointer to the potential of the clash is the Comets and Ghosts provided the only five locally based players originally included in the North Coast squad for the CRL championships following the tame loss last weekend in the inter-Group meeting.
Abel Lefaoseu and Rick Barr were chosen from Coffs while Matt Muller, Adam Slater and captain-coach Ben McLennan received the call-up from Grafton.
In another pointer of how stretched the ranks of referees have become, round four will start today at McKittrick Park with the South Grafton hosting Orara Valley.
Craig Craigie will blow the whistle for the top grade before backing up in reserve grade tomorrow at Coffs Harbour.
Reports are a referee academy is to be established but with the late Ken Smith grooming hundreds of recruits in juniors who didn't go on to senior ranks, addressing crowd abuse might remedy the situation much sooner.
Sawtell will take on Macksville at Allen Gillett Oval while Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo and Nambucca Heads will both seek to break their maiden status at Bellingen Park.