The Comets and Seahorses meet for the first time since 2014.
The Comets and Seahorses meet for the first time since 2014. Leigh Jensen

Webb could have an edge against Comets

WHILE thrilled with the first-up win over Bellingen, Woolgoolga captain-coach Clark Webb is happy to admit today's appointment with Coffs Harbour is a totally different proposition.

Like most good judges, he saw the Comets' ability to win after coming back from a 22-0 deficit against Grafton as evidence the old rivals were going to have plenty of sting in the tail this season.

"That must have been a great effort and a warning not to relax if we start to think our heads are in front," Webb said.

"Coffs probably have it over us for size and we have to nullify their big forward pack.

"Playing in the cool of the day may also be in their favour, but we have a lot of confidence in our ability to score plenty of points.

"We'll step it up a gear and give them something to chase."

Webb believes pace on the edges gives his team an advantage.

After bringing himself back to five-eighth after spending most of last season switching between fullback and halfback in a cameo season with Orara Valley, he will have most responsibility for sparking the attack.

Defence is a different equation but the Seahorses have welcomed back one of the best custodians in the business.

Not many get past Sam Sinclair and the gutsy number one has been in sensational form since returning to the northern beaches.

"He's a great player and having 'Sinkers' at the back gives everybody confidence," the coach added.

Group 2's lack of referees continues to be a problem, with the round split into two matches each day and top whistleblower Nathan Grace forced into operating at both main matches, which may be some sort of record in itself.

The big positive is finally having Orara Valley and Sawtell on the field after last weekend's late transfer.

Coramba will be a sombre place after the tragic incident that forced Dion Marr out of the game just days before he was to make his maiden appearance with the Axemen.

The Panthers will start favourites against South Grafton after the premiers lost a host of players in the off-season.

One Rebels recruit is former Ipswich Jets halfback Theeran Pearson, who will be charged with filling the huge void left by Ant Cowan's transfer to Orara.

The 25-year-old has been a rugby league journeyman, having had stints at the Newcastle Knights, Northern Pride in the Intrust Super Cup and the Central Queensland Capras.

Pearson has a long history with coach Ronald Gordon, who believes he will be an instant success.

Meanwhile, the Country Rugby League representative season begins today at Bellevue Oval in Armidale.

East Coast Dolphins - made up of players from Groups 2 and 3 and the NRRRL - take on Greater Northern Tigers in under-16s and -18s.

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