Snappers ready for tricky season opener
IF COFFS Snappers want to get their MNC Rugby off to a positive start this afternoon, they will need to beware of Wauchope's New Zealand connection.
The Thunder battled last year in its inaugural season but has recruited a backline full of players from across the ditch that could make it a serious contender in 2017.
The Snappers love playing at home at Rugby Park though and have a few tricks up their own sleeve in the backs.
It promises for what could be an entertaining clash to start the season.
The Snappers new co-coaches Brett Davis and Troy Baker are trying to implement a style that complements an attacking style of rugby.
"Both Troy and I are on the same page on how we want to play, and that's a more attacking, faster game plan," Davis said.
"The boys have adapted well to it and are keen to play that way.
"Hopefully we can implement it out at Rugby Park this weekend."
Davis said he'd heard a lot of rumours about Wauchope's new-look line-up, most of them emanating from the MNC Rugby representative team's trials, but he and Baker aren't overly concerned about the opposition at this stage.
"I expect Wauchope to be a lot stronger than last year but they're an unknown quantity," he said.
"We'll only focus on what we're trying to do."
The Southern Cross University Marlins have been handed MNC Rugby's toughest assignment to start their season.
The Marlins will travel down the Pacific Hwy to face a Hastings Valley outfit aiming to win a fourth consecutive premiership.
New SCU coach Dwayne Vignes will have his hands full trying to curtail Vikings old hands such as David Tunstead, Adam McCormack, Greg Lawrence and Tom Woods, along with new captain Hamish McCormack.
On the plus side for the Marlins is the fact a concentration on a strong junior program is now bearing fruit and they're the only team to beat Hastings Valley in the past three seasons.
Coffs Snappers v Wauchope
Hastings Valley v SCU Marlins
Grafton v Port Pirates