Teams trying to make sure of a good long weekend

It’s the last round before the general bye for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and all four clubs will be desperate to rack up a win before the break.

For teams that win they can go into the break feeling good about footy, but for those that lose they have to wait two weeks to get a chance to atone.

Competition leaders Sawtell Toormina Saints head north up the highway to take on the Grafton Tigers at Ellem Oval. The Saints season is exceeding expectations and rookie coach Brandt Lee is rightly proud of the achievements to date of his charges. The team has been boosted in the last two rounds by the return of club stalwarts Jimmy Angel, Luke Matthews, and Hamish Bird and is set for a big push in the second half of the season.

Grafton Tigers have shown glimpses of their potential but haven’t been able to string together a full four quarter performance. Their best effort of the season was a home match against the Saints when they got run down in the final term and will be hoping to replicate a similar effort, albeit with a different result.

This match will double as a curtain-raiser to the second Women’s demonstration match in Grafton, where the Tigers will also take on the Saints. Last week the Tigers hierarchy was blown away by the response, with 21 women playing and a huge crowd in support, so a similar response this week will be a great indicator that the Tigers can field a team in the competition in 2019.

At Fitzroy Oval both Coffs Harbour Breakers and Port Macquarie Magpies will be looking to get their stuttering seasons into full stride. Breakers title defence has been anything but assured to date and they will be keen to stamp their authority on this match early.

Port were badly beaten last week at home and this hasn’t sat well at the club. They will be looking for a swift response and will know that a second win of the season will have the capacity to act as a springboard to a sustained tilt towards the finals.

Both teams are struggling with injuries and will be hoping to welcome back regular starters to give the coaches boards a more familiar look.

In the Women’s game, Port will be up and about after rolling the previously unbeaten Sawtell in the last round. Cambridge McCormick and Anishah Burnes are the two key talls for the Magpies and Breakers will have to find a way to nullify their influence.

Breakers took part in last week’s demonstration match in Grafton which gave coach Brad Giri a great chance to try new combinations and for the team to kick a bag of much needed goals. This is an area that has been sadly lacking for the Breakers and last week’s run should provide a needed confidence boost.

Round 7 fixtures – Saturday 2 June

Coffs Harbour Breakers v Port Macquarie Magpies at Fitzroy Oval, Coffs Harbour (Under 17 at 10:00am, Women at 11:50am, Reserves at 1:20pm, Seniors at 2:50pm)

Grafton Tigers v Sawtell Toormina Saints at Ellem Oval, Grafton (Under 17  at 1:00pm, Seniors at 2:50pm, Women’s demonstration match at 5:00pm)

For full fixture details, click here.