Both Orara Valley and Macksville got their frustrations out at Coramba Reserve yesterday.
Both Orara Valley and Macksville got their frustrations out at Coramba Reserve yesterday. Bruce Thomas

Scrambling defence key to defeat

ATTACKING flair has made Macksville famous but scrambling defence was the key to yesterday’s 40-10 defeat of Orara Valley at Coramba.

Young bucks Sam Miles and Tyler Searle and their teammates were dynamic off the line, particularly after half-time when it looked likely the Axemen were building momentum.

The defensive effort was even more meritorious considering Macksville had two men sent to the sin bin.

It frustrated the home side enormously, forcing Orara into panic passes which led to four botched tries in the scoreboard corner.

“We gave them back-to-back sets on eight occasions and still no tries in the second half,” coach Grant Coleman said.

“In the off-season we worked on moving up across the backline to put other sides in two minds when they’re in possession and it worked first time out.

“We still have plenty to do with our attack but once the boys start working for each other more, that will fall into place.”

Orara badly missed the on-field leadership of co-coaches Paul Tomlinson and Grant Douglass with the latter believing his side was still in contention at intermission while trailing 18-10.

“We gave them too much ball at the start and I thought if the boys could rectify that we’d be able to get back into the arm wrestle,” he said.

“Macksville were so well-drilled in slide defence and when our execution came up average, the good field position meant nothing when we kept putting the ball down.”

Aside from a fairly typical early season game of football, huge interest centred on how the opposing teams handled the introduction of limited interchange.

Allowed 12 changes, both benches made just four swaps in the first half with the coaches forced to send players out in a job lot late in the game to give them all a run.



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