Forward thinking the key for the Comets

12th August 2017 3:30 AM
A tackle by Austin Cooper of the South Grafton Rebels stops Coffs Harbour Comets hooker Kerrod Selmes. Group 2 rugby league 26 March 2017 Geoff King Motors Park A tackle by Austin Cooper of the South Grafton Rebels stops Coffs Harbour Comets hooker Kerrod Selmes. Group 2 rugby league 26 March 2017 Geoff King Motors Park Brad Greenshields

IF Coffs Harbour is to reach next week's major semi final against the Grafton Ghosts, look for the Comets forwards to be scrapping for every possible yard through the middle of the field.

Both Coffs Harbour and South Grafton boast imposing forward packs and Comets coach Kerrod Selmes said winning the battle of the big men will go a long way to securing victory.

"I think we've just got to do our job and if we can win in that middle section of the ground it will be important," Selmes said.

"They (South Grafton) like to play off the back of their big forwards and so do we.

"Whoever wins that battle will go a long way toward winning the game."

The last time the two teams met, South Grafton led Coffs Harbour by 22 points with only 20 minutes of the contest remaining.

The Comets piled on four quick tries to take the lead only for South Grafton to escape with a draw after grabbing two points from a last minute penalty.

Letting go such a big lead that day is the reason why South Grafton has to travel tomorrow rather than play at home.

South Grafton hooker Rhys Walters, who played his 200th first grade game last week, said his Rebels teammates prefer to look at the first hour of that match rather than the Comets' late flurry of tries.

"That game we played against them at McKittrick Park where they came back with 20 minutes to go to draw with us proved costly in the long run but at the end of the day we still think we can go down there and beat them," Walters said.

"The last time we played them we were the better team for 60 minutes but we switched off at the end and it cost us.

"The past three weeks we've been putting it together and really been building some momentum at the right time of the year."

The fact that the match is at Coffs Harbour rather than at the Rebels' McKittrick Park fortress could be vital.

"It's a big advantage to us. It's hard playing at the Rebels' ground," Selmes said.

"It definitely plays in our favour having it at home."

While the nuggety hooker said his Comets boys have plenty of belief and have built up plenty of confidence based on losing only one of their past 11 matches, Selmes admitted the opposition's halves pairing of Kayan Davis and Nick McGrady can cause plenty of damage if given only half an opportunity.

"If you give them an inch they can take you a mile," the coach said.

"You can never underestimate the Rebels, never take them lightly because they're the sort of team that can 30 points on you in a blink of an eye."

QUALIFYING SEMI
Sunday at Geoff King Motors Park.
2.30pm - First grade: Coffs Harbour v South Grafton
1pm - Reserve grade: Grafton Ghosts v Nambucca Heads
11.45am - Under-18s: Sawtell v Nambucca Heads
10.30am - Ladies League Tag: Coffs Harbour v South Grafton