FULL BLAST: Referee Dr Max Fulton whistles up a penalty in the semi final won by Snappers over Pirates.
FULL BLAST: Referee Dr Max Fulton whistles up a penalty in the semi final won by Snappers over Pirates. Greg White

Snappers one win from rugby decider

ONLY Grafton stand in the way of another grand final appearance by Coffs Harbour after the Snappers eliminated Port Pirates 41-13 with a dazzling second half display.

The Redmen were beaten in the major semi by Hastings Valley but have a home ground advantage when Coffs head north this Saturday.

Snappers had a disastrous start when Pirates scored possibly the try of the year in the second minute and took a long time to get their equilibrium back.

In one of the quirks of sport, the match turned in the minutes leading up to the break when Coffs finally managed to play quality rugby.

Three previous line breaks saw the ball go to Pirates from ill-judged passes but on the fourth occasion, Tim Anderson was able to elude the chasers with a weaving run to post his side's first try.

Then, soon after the resumption it was Jesse Kirkman's turn to touch down and this clearly inspired Snappers to display their best for the rest of the section.

Co-coaches Brett Davis and Troy Baker can now plot a course that was looking shaky after the last minute lapse to Grafton in the final round.

"Our first half wasn't where we wanted to be and it wasn't just the tries either side of the break that turned things around,” Davis said.

"The boys always knew what was needed and after talking about what was missing they came out and performed in the second half.”

Before taking on Redmen, the week will be interrupted by the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup carnival and if there's one thing the club loves to do is party at the races.

"And so they should,” the coaches agreed.

"However, nothing at training will change and the preparations for the next game goes ahead in the normal way but the session may be a little shorter.”



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