Classic Encounter in Thursday Night Footy
Coffs Breakers extended their unbeaten start to the season to two matches, but the big story of the match was the performance of the Grafton Tigers.
Beaten by 192 points on Saturday, the Tigers improved out of sight to go down by just 39 points under lights at Ellem Oval. This result could have been even closer if it wasn’t for wayward finishing with Grafton posting 20 scoring shots against the Breakers 24.
The match was in the balance at quarter time with the Breakers holding a slender 3 point lead, which was extended to 17 points at the half. Breakers then set up the win in the third quarter where they outscored the Tigers by 20 points to establish a 37 point lead which was always going to be too much for the Tigers to overcome on a low scoring night. To the Tigers credit, they matched it with the Breakers in the last quarter where the scoring was basically even.
After an outstanding season in 2016, Fraser Duryea played second fiddle to the Breakers key forward recruits in their first match of the season, but stepped up in this match to land 5 majors. Nick Stanlan-Velt was the only other multiple goal kicker with 2.
Last week’s performance by the Breakers was labelled as slick, this week it was all about winning ugly. If they can maintain both of these qualities, the Breakers will be a genuine premiership threat.
The Tigers had a drastically changed side playing together for just the first time, and the inclusion of players such as Pat Curtain, Sam Hardes, Chris Curthoys, and Ryan Sheather made a massive difference. Sean Duroux played his first game of the season and led the line well to boot 3 goals for the home side. Based on this performance, a Tigers win isn’t far away. The next outing (22 April) at home against a Port Magpies side that has to make the long road trip represents a huge opportunity for Grafton and is one that must be grasped to get their season underway.
Coffs Breakers 13.11.89 defeated Grafton Tigers 6.14.50