Breakers win clash of local rivals

Coffs Breakers were consistently first to the ball in the first match of the season against Sawtell/Toormina. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

THE Coffs Breakers flexed their muscle in the season opening local derby against Sawtell/Toormina.

The venue of the match was changed little more than 24 hours prior to the start of the match and the Breakers relished playing the Anzac Round fixture on home soil.

After being cleaner in the first half when moving the ball into attack, the Breakers were able to open up a 24 point lead at the long break despite the weight of possession through the midfield being relatively even.

It was in the third term that the Breakers wrapped up the four points with Matt Giri and Cody Wheatley being particularly dangerous in front of goal.

The home team kicked seven goals to one in the third term. Giri finished the day with five majors next to his name while Wheatley kicked four.

The Saints never threw in the towel and what pleased their coach Nic Morgan the most was the way his players fought the contest out.

“We put it to them at three-quarter time to have a look at their Anzac Day guernseys and just remind them that we had a brilliant speech before the game from our strapper Garry Heskett who is a Vietnam veteran. He talked about that fight and he said when the chips are down you’ve still got to be in it,” Morgan recalled.

“And I was super impressed. That fourth quarter for me speaks of what we’re going to become and it’s a consistency that we’re going to gain from playing together a lot more.”

Coffs coach Ben Watson was pleased with how his team with having a group of new players introduced into the team.

“We’ve probably got about 10 new blokes,” Watson said.

“I think the circle when we sang the song had more blokes inside it rather than out. But they all did really well. They’re learning and we’re only going to get better over the season.”

COFFS BREAKERS 2.5 7.8 14.11 19.13 (127)

SAWTELL/TOORMINA 1.1 4.2 5.6 6.7 (43)

Goals – Coffs: M.Giri 5, C.Wheatley 4, J.Sincock 3, B.Guthrie 2, J.Guthrie 2, D.Homan, J.Hunt, A.Wallace. Saw: H.Anderson, T.Neal, L.Draper-Bell, C.Smith.

Best – Coffs: M.Trotter, C.Wheatley, J.Hunt, D.Christensen, J.Mullard. Saw: B.Cox, H.Anderson, H.Worthing.

Reserves: Coffs Breakers 9.9 (63) def Sawtell/Toormina 1.6 (12).

Under-17s: Coffs Breakers 12.12 (84) def Sawtell/Toormina 9.1 (55).

Jarrod Smith from Northern Beaches feels the full impact of the pressure Grafton applied at Centennial Oval on Saturday. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

Tigers roar restored

GRAFTON sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition that it’s back on the hunt for a premiership.

The Tigers looked eerily like the team that won the title in 2020 as it managed to keep Northern Beaches goalless on a wet and slippery Centennial Oval.

Grafton kicked three goals in each of the first two quarters to open up a 37 point lead to virtually lock away the four points.

Northern Beaches coach Jimmy Angel had to pull on the boots as his playing stocks for the day were shorter than what he’d hoped. He was frustrated with the start of the season but a long way from downcast.

“We would’ve had four or five of our top 10 players missing which never helps but it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Angel said.

“It was a good day for the club with the women having a good win and the reserves sneaking home.

“It’s a shame to miss out on a few good footballers but we played against a very goos opponent. They (Grafton) have got some good young kids coming through and have been topped up with some guys from Lismore so they’re a strong team.”

The Tigers have gained six players who registered during the pre-season with the Lismore Swans – Tim Whalan, Otto Scarlett, Rory Richardson, Hendrik Hoogendoorn, Braiden Needham and Geoff Urhane.

GRAFTON 3.3 4.6 6.6 8.6 (54)

NORTHERN BEACHES 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.6 (6)

Goals – Graf: G.Urhane 2, T.Churchin 2, S.Connor, C.O’Loughlin, N.O’Neill, N.Wheaton. N.B: Nil.

Best – Graf: C.O’Neill, T.Whalan, B.Noll, H.Hoogendoorn, N.O’Neill. N.B: F.Duryea, J.Smith, F.Thompson, J.Toms, P.Curtain, S.Burow.

Reserves: Northern Beaches 7.2 (44) def Grafton 6.6 (42).