Rivalry to fire up league's young stars
RUGBY league rivalry between the North Coast and Northern Rivers is always intense and further pride goes on the line today in the junior ranks.
The Country Rugby League's Andrew Johns Cup for the under-16 age group and Laurie Daley Cup for the 18s will see two matches played at Geoff King Motors Park this afternoon where the North Coast teams from both age groups will host their northern neighbours.
North Coast Laurie Daley Cup coach Lee Hoawerth thinks playing against a rival brings out the best in the players.
"You always want to get one up on your nearest rival," Hoawerth said.
"We've actually been partners in previous championships so we're looking forward to the challenge."
Hoawerth has plenty of Group 2 talent to call on.
Sawtell pair Tyke Kemp and Ryan Pemberton are the starting hooker and prop while fellow Panthers Lewis Cooper and Blake Howle have been named as interchange players.
Team captain Riley Davey, from Orara Valley, will be at lock while Mckye Tucknott, from Bellingen, is on a wing.
Coffs Harbour utility Bailey Morgan will provide a spark off the bench while Jordan Moore, from Macksville, is in the pack.
The under-16s team this afternoon will have Coffs pair Troy Duckett and Tylee Donavan playing at fullback and wing respectively, while the halfback is Kaiden Sakaio, from Sawtell.
Woolgoolga's Ethan Duncombe will wear the No.18 jersey and Bowraville has a pair of representatives in Logan Jones and Himayet Robinson.
The team is coached by Sawtell first-grade coach for 2018 Rod Hardy.
Coffs juniors will hold a sign-on day during the matches.