RUNNING THE RUCK: Orara Valley Axemen hooker Rhys Walters fires the ball off. The side are chasing their second win this weekend.
RUNNING THE RUCK: Orara Valley Axemen hooker Rhys Walters fires the ball off. The side are chasing their second win this weekend. Sam Flanagan

Time is ticking on 2019

RUGBY LEAGUE: The conclusion of this weekend's Group 2 action will mark the halfway point of the season and for some, it may put their premiership hopes on life support.

Not many would have predicted the Orara Valley Axemen would be languishing at the bottom of the table at this point of the year, but that's where they find themselves.

With just win one from six games along with a gift two points due to the Grafton Ghosts' registration debacle, the Axemen will need to a big back half to the year if they want to finish near the top.

They host the Sawtell Panthers, who are themselves looking to bounce back from two straight losses, on Sunday at the Coramba Sports Ground.

In the first match of the round the Coffs Harbour Comets will get to play their second game under lights on Saturday at Geoff King Motors Oval.

The Comets are hosting the Bellingen Valley Dorrigo Magpies, a side who have just moved off the bottom of the ladder for the first time in 2019 after edging the Axemen last week.

Comets co-coach Vaughn Dawes said he'll make sure his chargers don't overlook the threat the Magpies poses.

"They're improving every week and testing teams,” Dawes said.

"I spoke to Tempy (Magpies captain-coach Daniel Tempest) after their game against Orara and he said they should have won by more.

"We have things to work on and we need to be on our game. We want to string together two good halves of footy this Saturday. That's our goal.”

In other games this weekend the Rebels and Ghosts will play out their first derby of the year, while the Seahorses head south to try and bring down the Sea Eagles.

Round 7 draw

Coffs v Bellingen - Saturday 5.15pm

Macksville v Woolgoolga - Sunday 2.45pm

South Grafton v Grafton - Sunday 2.45pm

Orara Valley v Sawtell - Sunday 2.45pm