Leaders to battle for top billing
It will be first versus second when the Peregian Springs Coolum Colts take on the Yandina Raiders in the Red Rooster Cup C Grade at Coolum on Saturday.
The Colts are brimming with confidence after a strong 22-18 win last Saturday at Beachmere over Pomona Cooran Cutters who defeated an injury-ravaged Colts side 12-10 at their previous meeting.
Coach Nathan Ratcliffe said the win was gratifying for him as coach and for the team and the club.
At a coaching level, Ratcliffe was particularly pleased his calculated gamble to put under-18 front rower Christy Howell in the centres paid off.
“My thinking was that at 186cm and 108kg he has the size to cause problems one-on-one out wide.
“So I was very happy when he scored the match-winner after he recovered, on the full, a cross field kick before pushing aside three defenders on a 20-metre charge to the line.”
Ratcliffe said that on a team level, the players were starting to get back to the form they displayed in the early part of the season.
“In the first half we had several excellent opportunities to score but impatience caused us to try and score off every tackle.
“That all changed after half time when we set a solid attacking platform by playing to the kick, then putting pressure on the opposition with us in good field position.
“That is the sort of football you need to play to win the comp and that is the way we need to play to beat undefeated Yandina next Saturday.”
Ratcliffe said the club was desperate for a home semi-final and to achieve this the Colts had to finish the season in the top two.
The win against Pomona consolidated us in second. A win on Saturday against Yandina will put us equal top,” he said.
Saturday’s game will be the first time Yandina has played at Coolum since the 52-point thrashing they received at the hands of the Colts in April.
The last time the two sides met was the pre-season final which the Raiders won 24-16.
Since then the Colts have had some serious injuries but they are now getting back to full strength.
The inclusion of some young legs with the blooding of some of the club’s under-18 players has seen Coolum win the last six games.
RED ROOSTER CUP
WHERE: Ronnie Cargill Oval, Coolum
12.30pm: Maroochydore vs Caboolture (C grade)
2pm: Beachmere vs Pomona (C grade)
3pm: Colts under-18s vs Gympie
5pm: Coolum vs Yandina (C grade)
Full bar and canteen facilities are available.