A DOWNPOUR halfway through the match made conditions uncomfortable for players and spectators but it was Coffs Harbour who handled better to down Sawtell in an action-packed local derby at Rex Hardaker Oval.
The Comets won 36-22 by playing better percentage wet weather football and relying on the bigger size of the forwards.
The second half brought with it torrential rain, but the Comets managed to hold on to their first half lead and six wins from seven games so far cements them in second place on the competition ladder.
Coffs coach Colin Speed said the win was credited to the team's strength in defence.
"I don't think defence gets enough credit," he said.
"It can win you games and today we were tough.
"You've got to give Sawtell credit but overall with the players and the depth we've got, I was over the moon with our performance today."
Speed is confident his side can hold on to their momentum for the remainder of the season.
"We're only just staring to come together, on the field and off the field," he added.
"They're a really good bunch of lads and they're all starting to gel together and will only get better as the season progresses."
Sawtell still have a string of top-liners waiting on the sidelines and as was the case against Orara Valley, errors in judgement at crucial stages went against them.
The third straight loss leaves the Panthers heading a group of three clubs - Macksville, Nambucca Heads and Orara Valley - chasing two semi final berths over the next seven weeks.
Meanwhile, South Grafton Rebels completed the first round unbeaten with a close 28-20 win over Grafton and made a rare clean sweep of all grades at the home of the Ghosts.
Check The Coffs Coast Advocate this Wednesday for a full weekend wrap including the mid season tally of club championship points.
COFFS HARBOUR COMETS 36 (Shayde Perham 2, John Oakes 2, Billy Griffiths tries ; Nathan Curry five goals) def SAWTELL PANTHERS 22 (Brad Collison, Jack Conlon, Dion Marr, Ryan Hall tries; Lachie Miller three goals)
Group 2 round seven
Macksville d Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo 56-8
Nambucca Heads d Orara Valley 40-20
South Grafton d Grafton 28-20
Coffs Harbour d Sawtell 36-22
Macksville d Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo 62-6
Nambucca Heads d Orara Valley 30-0
South Grafton d Grafton 22-14
Sawtell d Coffs Harbour 30-10
Macksville d Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo 30-18
Nambucca Heads bye
South Grafton d Grafton 18-4
Sawtell d Coffs Harbour 14-10