Orara Valley will be on the attack against Sawtell at Coramba tomorrow.
Orara Valley will be on the attack against Sawtell at Coramba tomorrow. David Barwell

Vital clashes to shape the Group 2 season

WHILE South Grafton sits comfortably atop the Group 2 table and puts its feet up for the weekend thanks to the bye, the chasing pack faces a set of crucial encounters.

The remaining teams in the top five play among themselves tomorrow.

Having gained only point from its past three matches, Sawtell finds itself in a position of needing to win to hold on to the dream of finishing the season in the top three and get a double chance come finals time.

To do so, it must overcome Orara Valley at Coramba. No easy task.

Panthers coach Adam Loudon said it’s a challenge his team is up for.

“We’re fired up and ready to bounce back after two losses in a row which have been pretty ordinary,” Loudon said.

Sawtell will welcome back some players missing from the forward pack last week. A development sure to add some much needed starch to the Panthers’ defence in the middle and around the ruck.

Orara Valley is playing its first game in three weeks thanks to a bye and the long weekend.

Grafton and Coffs Harbour are currently filling second and third positions on the table respectively but Comets coach Kerrod Selmes said there’s still plenty of improvement left in both teams ahead of tomorrow’s match at Geoff King Motors Oval.

“I think both sides have struggled a bit this year,” Selmes said.

“Neither side has really played to its full potential so far this year but it’s going to be a very good game. A very tough game I think.”

Both Nambucca Heads and Macksville are sitting outside the five aiming for a winning run in the second half of the year to force their way in.

For this reason today’s local derby at Coronation holds some added importance.



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