Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Make or Break Time

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Make or Break Time

Article excerpt

Byline: BRAD GREENSHIELDS

MAGPIES v AXEMEN

BELLINGEN coach Josh White knows how important tomorrow's clash with Orara Valley is.

He's admitted that a loss tomorrow could see their chances of ending the season in the top three could disappear.

"That's the message I've been saying to the boys all week," he said.

"We dropped down from third to sixth in one big hit last week."

Tomorrow's clash against the Axemen at Bellingen's famed graveyard is sure to be full of intensity as both finals' aspirants are coming off a loss last week and neither of them would like to enter the business end of the season with two consecutive losses next to their name.

White said he hopes all of his players play with plenty of intensity because it was an ingredient sorely missing from the Magpies' performance last week when they lost 40-32 to Macksville.

"We had a bit of a cruisy month then we beat Port Macquarie and I think we took it a bit lightly last week taking on Macksville and we were down 18-0 after only 15 minutes,"

"That first 15 minutes that was just horrible and they played it like it was a grand final.

"That's an intensity issue and it's also an attitude issue."

While White joked yesterday that high-scoring games makes Bellingen the most entertaining team in the competition to watch as fans of both teams see their teams score plenty of points, the serious side of the coach admits that if the Magpies are going to be a genuine threat in September than strong defence is a vital key.

"We've been concentrating on our defence again this week, that's our main priority this weekend," he said.

* Coffs Harbour's late run towards a finals berth can gain some real momentum tomorrow if they can upset the competition leaders Sawtell.

The Comets have beaten Macksville and Orara Valley in the last two weeks and a huge crowd is expected at Advocate Park.

* Home-ground advantage in a final later in the year looks like the prize that Woolgoolga and Port Macquarie are playing for at Woolgoolga Sportsground tomorrow.

When these two teams last met the result was a hard-fought draw and tomorrow's winner may simply be which team adapts to finals-type football the quickest after both the Seahorses and Sharks had virtual walks in the park a week ago.

TOMORROW'S MATCHES

Kickoff: 2.45pm

Bellingen v Orara Valley

Coffs Harbour v Sawtell

Woolgoolga v Port Macquarie

Nambucca Heads v Macleay Valley

Dunghutti v Macksville

TOMORROW'S TEAMS

Played at Bellingen Park. …

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