Snappers sport win grin after late burst against SCU Marlins
IT WAS a grind until the latter stages but Coffs Harbour turned a season of underperforming around with a 33-5 win over Southern Cross University at Rugby Park.
It was a sometimes spiteful affair that saw the Snappers leading 14-5 until well into the match and with the Marlins still at their heels.
But tries in quick succession to Koen Mieni and Waqa Yaya gave the home side some impetus and they were really coasting as full-time approached.
Coach Rob Waddy has never given up his faith in the team but his relief was evident and he became more and more animated as the clock ticked down.
"For the first time in a long time I've had a reasonably settled squad and with what looks like just one injury today, maybe I can run the same team for a couple of weeks," he said.
Missing captain-coach Cameron Smith was not a good start for the Marlins but they showed great enterprise to post first points on the board.
The match then settled down into a battle of attrition with referee Bruce Frame forced to settle the players down when tensions threatened to boil over.
Only near the end did the match have much appeal as a spectacle and that was only when the Snappers took the shackles off their fast men.
"The first 20 minutes were under the pump," Waddy admitted.
"I was confident fitness would get us through and that showed at the end of each half when we finished off better.
"The key now is to keep this lot together for as long as possible."
Upper MNC Rugby
Coffs Harbour Snappers d Southern Cross University Marlins 33-5
Hastings Valley Vikings d Port Macquarie Pirates 30-8
Kempsey Cannonballs bye
Hastings d Port 41-8
Coffs d SCU 24-0
Bowraville Goannas d Kempsey 45-38
Bowraville d Kempsey 51-10
Port d Coffs on forfeit
SCU d Coffs 19-14
Kempsey d Dorrigo Rangers 26-24
Port d Hastings on forfeit