All teams want to take winning form into the break
Saturday’s fixtures are the last round before the competition takes a two week break to accommodate a general bye and the stand alone “Super Saturday” competition which will make all clubs doubly hungry for the win.
Coffs Harbour Breakers host Sawtell Toormina Saints in a local derby that takes on added significance with the Breakers showing their support for the Black Dog Institute. The club is raising funds to support the Institute’s push for greater understanding, prevention, and treatment of mental illness with 18 year old player Ben Gibbeson being the driving force behind this.
On the field, the great cause won’t distract the fierce rivals in their pursuit of four competition points. The Breakers are in a position where they can’t be deposed from the top two on the ladder no matter how results pan out for the rest of the season but won’t be prepared to rest on their laurels. With several players relegated to Reserves last week after not being able to train on the Thursday night there’s no doubt that the entire group will be pulling out all stops this week to ensure they’re in the mix for selection.
Sawtell’s on field structure has looked better in the last couple of weeks and their intensity was certainly on the money for the first half of last week’s clash with Port. Coach Brandt Lee will be disappointed that the intensity couldn’t be maintained for a four quarter effort and that will no doubt be the key focus for the derby.
The Saints find themselves in the unusual position of being outside the top two, having to win all of their remaining matches and hope results go their way to finish with a double chance in the Finals. That all starts on Saturday and the Saints will be desperate to grind out a positive result.
Port Macquarie Magpies need only one more win to secure a top two finish and will be confident of achieving that against Grafton Tigers at Centennial Oval, Woolgoolga.
Port returned to winning ways last week but didn’t switch on until midway through the third quarter. Coach Tom Marmo will want to ensure that there are no repeat performances this week – the Tigers are on a lean run but Marmo won’t want to give the team from Grafton a sniff of an upset.
The trip to Woolgoolga all but guarantees that Port will be down on troops so the players that make the trip will have to stand up and be counted.
The Tigers continue to unearth good, young talent with the latest being Noah Swarski who moved to the area at the start of the season from Sale. Swarski is combining well with fellow youngsters such as Kade Bagnall and Ronan Leslie and exhibits the club’s never say die approach.
A win would lift club spirits and spur the players on towards next season where a couple of recruits in key positions would make all the difference.
A preview of the round 11 matches in the Women’s competition will appear online on Friday (5 July).
Round 11 fixtures – Saturday 6 July
Grafton Tigers / Northern Beaches Blues v Port Macquarie Magpies at Centennial Oval, Woolgoolga (Under 17 at 10:00am, Women at 11:50am, Reserves at 1:20pm, Seniors at 2:50pm)
Coffs Harbour Breakers v Sawtell Toormina Saints at Fitzroy Oval, Coffs Harbour (Under 17 at 10:00am, Women at 11:50am, Reserves at 1:20pm, Seniors at 2:50pm)
For full fixture details, click here.