EVERY 2009 clash between Coffs Crushers and Coffs Breakers was explosive.
The next chapter of intra-club rivalry will be written tonight when last year’s Mid North Coast Rugby grand finalists collide in the opening round of the new competition.
Coffs Rugby publicist Paul Butcher is tipping the newly-titled Coffs Coast Advocate Rugby Union Park will be christened with blood, sweat, tears and beers.
“A new-look Breakers outfit will take the field with only five of the 2009 premiership-winning side still in the fold,” he said.
“However, Crushers have retained 13 of last year’s starting team, with league recruits Dave Angus and Dave McCormack taking on key roles.
“Angus will play outside centre and the other Dave is the new halfback.”
When the teams went through the pre-season selection process, Crushers stuck with their huge forward pack made up of players weighing between 100-130 kg, while maintaining a slick, experienced backline.
In contrast, Breakers have a plethora of new talent and have decided not to vary their accepted game ‘style’ of running other teams around.
In the only switch of note within the two outfits, grand final reserve Brendan Robbins has been recruited to the Breakers and will play a pivotal role at No 10.
“He will be well supported by Dylan Hurley and Kris Kent in the centre, with Dwayne Fox and Pete Shaw across the back,” Butcher reported.
“The newly constructed forward pack will be led by Adam Dunworth and Kelvin Rushworth, who are probably two of only a handful of front rowers who have the size to deal with the Crushers’ huge forward pack.”
Club president Richard Officer is relieved the season is about to blast off.
“With four teams on the field it has been a huge effort getting everyone started,” he said.
Games tonight kick off at 6pm with the reserve grade encounter between Coffs Rugby and the new Southern Cross University side.
The main game will follow at 7.30 pm.