THE headline act this afternoon is the local derby between Sawtell/Toormina and the Coffs Breakers.

If the derby status alone doesn't add enough spice to this match, it's also a top of the ladder clash, grand final re-match and in all likelihood a grand final preview.

The Saints head into this afternoon one game clear as ladder leaders and know they need to win to maintain this advantage.

BATTLE AHEAD: Top spot on the AFL North Coast ladder is up for grabs today when Sawtell/Toormina hosts the Coffs Breakers.
BATTLE AHEAD: Top spot on the AFL North Coast ladder is up for grabs today when Sawtell/Toormina hosts the Coffs Breakers. Brad Greenshields

 

If the reigning premier is to overcome its fiercest rival it also needs to overcome a mounting injury toll as Brandt Lee has returned to the sidelines after just one match courtesy of his troublesome hamstring. Malcolm Trotter joins him with a broken hand.

This adds to longer term injuries in Andrew Ellis, Mark Couzens and Scott Bicknell giving the Richardson Park facilities the look of a hospital ward.

The Saints should be boosted by the inclusion of new recruit Danyon McEvoy who has just transferred in from Sydney and will be frantically looking to get up to match fitness as quickly as possible.

Sawtell/Toormina will be glad to be at home and hope this will help it overcome its injury woes.

The Breakers on the other hand look to be travelling well in the fitness stakes and this should pose an advantage for them.

Jacob Sincock is likely to be on duty in Sydney while Harry Parker will miss another week due to a broken hand.

The Breakers came through last week's run against Port in fine form and will be eager to get straight back into stride from the first bounce.

The Saints and Breakers have already met twice this season with the ledger standing at one win apiece.

With one further match between the two sides during the home and away season a loss for either side won't be disastrous but neither will want to go behind in the head to head count.

AFL NORTH COAST
Sawtell/Toormina v Coffs Breakers
Grafton v Port Macquarie



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