Streamlined comp for MNC Rugby
ONLY five teams will be playing in the MNC Rugby first grade competition in 2011 but that shouldn’t be a problem according to executive officer Des Hoy.
“The fact that South West Rocks are out this year certainly won’t weaken the comp,” Hoy said.
“In fact it will probably mean that we have stronger games each week.”
South West Rocks has opted to return to reserve grade this year but there will still be plenty of good football to catch at Coffs Rugby Park each week.
A key element of the fixture that was released last week is the fact that there will be only one of the 15 rounds will see no Coffs Harbour team playing at home.
The season starts on April 9 and Coffs Crushers and Coffs Breakers renew hostilities soon after.
Coffs Rugby will again be fielding two first grade teams this year and the first of the three local derbies is being played on April 16.
Hoy believes that a replay of 2009 where the two Coffs teams faced each other in the grand final could be on the cards again this season.
“Coffs had a bit of trouble with one of its coaches last year and got off to a bad start,” he said. “That won’t happen again this year.”
There is optimism coming out of both Coffs Rugby camps at the moment but Hoy says he will reserve judgment until the season starts.
“There’s a bit of new blood that has come into town but I haven’t laid eyes on them yet,” he said.
“Until you actually see them play on the paddock you never really know what sort of players they are.”
It won’t all be one-way traffic though.
Hoy added that any one of the five first grade teams could claim the title in 2011.
“Hastings Valley after winning last year certainly appear to be more enthusiastic,” he warned.
“Kempsey seem better organised and may pick up some players from South West Rocks.
“The Pirates always seem to be able to bring in players so it won’t matter that they’ve lost four players.”
The upcoming season aside, supporters of the 15-man code are looking forward to a big day of rugby this Saturday.
The fast-paced Ella Sevens tournament is being played as well as a representative clash between Mid North Coast Axemen and New England in both the under-20s and first grade.