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Snappers let a golden opportunity slip

Brannon Murray of the Coffs Snappers is brought to ground by Adam McCormack in front of a healthy crowd during the major semi final against the Hastings Valley Vikings.
Brannon Murray of the Coffs Snappers is brought to ground by Adam McCormack in front of a healthy crowd during the major semi final against the Hastings Valley Vikings. Brad Greenshields

THE Coffs Snappers were playing for the right to host the MNC Rugby grand final but unfortunately the season decider will be played in Port Macquarie.

Hastings Valley produced a burst of football that the Snappers had no answer for to win the major semi final 39-30.

After the Snappers produced an excellent start to shoot out to a 15-5 lead after tries to Matthew Spence and Andrew Martin, the Vikings produced the football that has seen them win the past three first grade titles.

"It was a good start, early points that was great. That was always the intention to come out and start as fast as we possibly could but unfortunately in that middle period of the game we let 26 unanswered points in against us and that was certainly telling at the end of the game," Snappers co-coach Troy Baker lamented.

Trailing by 16 points after the Vikings scored the first try after the break, the Snappers dug deep and tries to Tumma Murray and Zade Goodenough offered some hope of a comeback victory as the scoreline read 36-30.

A penalty goal from the boot of Kenny Andrews stretched the lead to nine but there was still 10 minutes left for the Snappers to possibly score a converted try and a penalty goal to snatch victory but it wasn't to be.

"I think a lot of it was pushing passes, making mistakes," Baker said.

"Certainly just not being clinical in the finsh."

While the Snappers were understandably forlorn post-match at missing out on the chance to have home ground advantage in the grand final, the players must re-group this week ahead of next week's preliminary final which will be played at Jung Quarries Rugby Park against the winner of tomorrow's match between the SCU Marlins and Grafton.

HASTINGS VALLEY 39 (Adam McCormack 2, Hamish McCormack, Lachlan Smith, Andrew West tries; Kenny Andrews 4 conv, 2 pen. goals) def COFFS SNAPPERS 30 (Matthew Spence, Andrew Martin, Tumma Murray, Zade Goodenough tries; Zac Cross 2 conv, 2 pen. goals).
Reserve grade: Hastings Valley def Coffs Snappers 26-0.
Under-18s: Coffs Snappers def SCU Marlins 22-15.
Under-16s: SCU Marlins def Coffs Snappers 31-5.
Under-14s: SCU Marlins def Kempsey 31-22.
Womens: Port Pirates def Hastings Valley 27-0.

Topics:  coffs rugby snappers coffs snappers country rugby hastings valley vikings jung quarries rugby park mnc rugby