Saints put the past behind them
IT WAS 12 months ago when Sawtell/Toormina went into a 2nd semi-final as the red-hot favourite only to suffer defeat.
Undefeated in 2015, the Saints face an eerily similar situation this afternoon when they face Port Macquarie at C.ex Coffs International Stadium.
But Saints playing coach Jim Angel doesn't fear a repeat performance.
"The last time we played against Port Macquarie it was the kick in the pants we needed," Angel said.
"Even though we ended up winning by about 50 points, we were behind at quarter time and there was only a few points in it at half time.
"In all honesty we had a quite a flat week at training that week but over the past couple of weeks, training has been as good as it's been all year.
"Tuesday night was the best night we've had on the track this year."
While confident in his own team's ability, Angel knows the Magpies have the ability to stop Sawtell/Toormina's dreams of winning back-to-back flags.
"Port has a strong forward line," he said.
"Last time we played at Port, Alf Ablett was impressive for them and Jesse Schmidt didn't even play. If you add those two together and take into account players like Matt Lill and the big fellow in Damon Munt, there's a bit to contend with.
"If they get it together and get the ball inside 50 often enough, it's game on."
Angel said winning the contested football count would be the key to victory this afternoon.
"We have to respect them when they've got the ball and take the game on when we've got it," he said.
"We need to battle away because it's never lace out footy in the finals, you've still got to go and get the football."
At C.ex Coffs International Stadium on Saturday.
Seniors: Sawtell/Toormina v Port Macquarie at 2.20pm.
Reserves: Port Macquarie v Sawtell/Toormina at 12.50pm.
Under-18s: Port Macquarie v Sawtell/Toormina at 11am.