Marlin's welcoming committee Nathan Johns and Cameron Smith (right) make sure Craig Landrigan gets an ant's eye view of University Oval.
Marlin's welcoming committee Nathan Johns and Cameron Smith (right) make sure Craig Landrigan gets an ant's eye view of University Oval. Gemima Harvey

SCU Marlins overjoyed by historic win over Coffs Snappers

Not only was it the club's first top grade win since 2013, it was also the first on University (Marlin Park) Oval and the first over the Snappers since returning to the competition in 2012.

Coach Dave Nicol was shaking with emotion as the enormity of the feat hit home.

"As a club, this is a turn-the-corner moment," he said.

"Not only did we win all four grades today but we shared the points with a draw in golden oldies.

"No ... make that five and a half wins for the weekend as we won the under-14s game on Friday night.

"It's turned out our biggest weekend ever."

Marlins led 10-0 early by playing simple, uncomplicated, pure rugby.

There was almost a total absence of the league-infected style that has lowered standards across the zone in recent seasons.

Forwards bent their backs and the backline reacted quickly to opportunities in a manner best suited to the 15-a-side code and the pay-off was immediate.

"They were switched on from the start and went for the entire 80 minutes - something we haven't done for a couple of years since the last win," Nicol said.

"We've been in a winning position so often before, only to be run down at the end.

"They sweated hard and got the rewards."

Coffs didn't help their cause early by being over-eagre and earned the ire of referee Darren Jameson.

Once they go their act together, the match turned their way and scores levelled up.

A penalty to SCU delivered a three point lead for the restart but the turning point came 10 minutes into the second session.

Coffs prop Matt Joyce offered a pass on the Marlins' try line that 99 times out of 100 would have created a try.

On this occasion, home team winger Simon Donald swooped and took off for the opposite end.

He was collared just short of the line but one phase later the five-pointer was awarded.

The Snappers kept chipping away but for once there was no miraculous escape.

"In the whole of the first half we held the ball for no more than nine minutes," Coffs coach Rob Waddy groaned.

"We had more later but didn't do much with it.

"Once or twice we had them under the pump but made errors.

"Saying that, I'm still happy with the effort as don't forget, it's been a stop-start comp so far.

"With today out of the way we've got to find some consistency."

With so much to celebrate, Marlins were about to party.

"I could be missing for a day or two," coach Nicol laughed.

First grade

Southern Cross University Marlins d Coffs Harbour Snappers 25-17

Hastings Valley Vikings d Kempsey Cannonballs 76-12

Port Macquarie bye

Reserve grade

SCU d Coffs Harbour 19-5

Hastings Valley d Kempsey 24-14

Presidents Cup

Dorrigo Rangers d Woolgoolga White Pointers 11-7

Port Macquarie d Bowraville Goannas 19-7

Under 18s

SCU d Coffs Harbour 24-17

Kempsey d Hastings Valley 5-0

Port Macquarie d Bowraville 38-7

Under 16s

SCU d Coffs Harbour 31-7

Hastings Valley d Kempsey 33-29

Port Macquarie d Dorrigo 26-7

Under 14s

Coffs Harbour Barbarians v Dorrigo tba

SCU d Coffs Harbour 44-0

Kempsey d Port Macquarie Red 40-36

Hastings Valley d Port Macquarie Black 45-5

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