Sawtell jump to top of the standings
Sawtell/Toormina Saints 20.23-143 def. Coffs Swans 6.2-38
Best Players: M Couzens, M Elliott, T Matthews, D Johnson, D Pritchard, D Taylor, B Hooke
Best Players: T Snow, S McGrath, R Eddy, D Young, E Duryea, S Day
Umpires: L Turner, G Maasaad, S Bellamy
Sawtell took full advantage of a weakened Swans lineup to comfortably win in their top of the table clash at Richardson Park to jump a game clear at the top of the AFL North Coast ladder.
With many of the Swans' players away on Under 18 representative duties, the Swans lacked the direction and attacking ability to penetrate Sawtell, who were too smooth and efficient throughout the contest.
Sawtell extended on their four goal lead at the end of the first quarter, running out the match strongly with only inaccurate kicking robbing them of a greater winning margin.
Mark Couzens was exceptional for the victors with a dominant display in the middle of the ground. He, along with Todd Matthews especially, pin-pointed targets up forward with pin-point accuracy. The Saints would be frustrated with their wasteful nature in front of goals, but it was the only negative for the well-drilled outfit.
Tristan Snow was clearly the best for the Swans, with the acting captain trying to cover several gaping holes as the Swans were constantly put on the back foot. Daniel Pritchard was outstanding in tagging spearhead, Evan Duryea; with the Swans' marquee player restricted to two goals up forward.
The match showed how heavily reliant the Swans were on their young brigade to provide a lot of their flair. The Saints look settled and well groomed for success heading towards the midway mark of the season.
North Coffs 13.12-90 def. Port Macquarie 7.10-52
Best Players: S Dawes, D Funston, J O'Connor, T Merrick
Best Players: M Newton, J Schmidt, O Kozminski, M Gallagher
Umpires: S Staniforth, R Macpherson, T Sodeau
With the help of Sam Dawes and Darren Funston, the Kangaroos have leapfrogged Port Macquarie into third place with a comfortable win at the Coffs Coast Leisure Park.
Keen to impress in front of representative coaches, Rod Macpherson and Paul Sheldon, the solid duo were very impressive in the midfield and help North Coffs to control the game after quarter time. The Kangaroos were particularly dominant in the second quarter, with the side booting six goals to one.
They maintained that lead after the main break, with Jordan O'Connor solid up forward with four goals. Matthew Newton was Port's best in a performance that will leave the side searching for ways to rediscover the formula that has seen them be prominent at the top of the ladder over the last few years.
North Coffs have built some solid form but are still yet to beat a top two side, something they will be keen to rectify in coming weeks with their side looking more settled and their star players hitting top form.
Grafton 20.5-125 def. Nambucca Valley 5.9-39
Best Players: R Sheather, S Purton, D Gordon, S Onus, L Hayman, B Smith
Best Players: D Linares, L Benson, B Toohey, D Creaser
Umpires: N Wood, K Berrigan
A 11 goal haul from Grafton spearhead, Sean Purdon, headlined a very accurate Grafton attack in their near-century defeat of Nambucca at Macksville Park.
The Tigers could be considered inconsistent at best; capable of moments of brilliance, but they performed admirably in what was a strong win well away from home, even against an opposition seriously struggling for form.
Ryan Sheather provided a lot of run from half-back and in the centre, whilst Dave Gordon dominated the rucks, providing ably to Scott Onus and Luke Hayman as they smashed the Lions in the clearances.
Purdon, and Dale Beaver, who kicked 4 goals, were the only multiple goalkickers for the Tigers, but Nambucca were unable to find a suitable opponent for either. Daniel Linares and Luke Benson battled hard in the midfield but again their efforts went unrewarded.
The Tigers are well poised for a lunge at the top four but they must beat a higher placed side for that to occur, something they haven't threatened to do this season. There are good signs for the side provided they are able to maintain their consistency. Conversely, the Lions squandered their best opportunity to win a game this season, something that now seems unlikely for the southern outfit.
- Who made this round's team of the week? See Round 7 Team of the Week by clicking on Personality/Team of the Week. section