AFL North Coast season gets underway with ANZAC Round

Coffs Harbour Breakers and Sawtell/Toormina Saints players commemorate ANZAC Round.

AUSSIE Rules has returned to the region as the latest AFL North Coast season got underway with its ANZAC Round.

The Coffs Harbour Breakers started their season on a winning note beating the Sawtell/Toormina Saints 7.11 (53) to 3.9 (27) in their local derby at Richardson Park.

The game was a real arm wrestle to start as both teams struggled to create inside 50 chances, with the first goal to the Breakers coming well into the first quarter.

The Breakers started to take the ascendancy with a 15-point lead heading into quarter time.

The Breakers run and carry and delivery inside 50 troubled the Saints, as they started to break the shackles of the earlier contested game.

The Saints remained in the contest as their defence tightened up, with the Breakers taking a 19-point lead into half-time.

Wet weather footy became a factor as the rain came down in the third quarter, with neither side able to gain the ascendancy as the Breakers couldn’t deliver the knockout blow and the Saints couldn’t claw back the margin, as the Breakers increased their margin by one point from halftime heading into the final break.

A spirited Saints side kept coming at the Breakers, but the visitors held their nerve and remained firm in defence to hold off the young side’s challenge for the 26-point win.

Breakers coach Ben Watson gave the keys to his side getting off to a winning start to the season.

“Discipline from our guys was the key, and I thought we executed better than Sawtell,” he said.

“Stopping their transition with the ball out of defence was big for us, as Sawtell are a young, quick side that likes to transition quickly with the ball, and we didn’t let them do that.

“The desire to win was there, but we still have a lot of improvement, and we certainly didn’t play as well as we wanted to.”

Watson said the Breakers had a clear theme heading into the new season.

“Just to be disciplined is a big thing for us, and we have instilled fines for anyone who gives way 50m penalties or other indiscretions.

“I thought our discipline was excellent today, and another theme this season is that we play as one team, and we celebrate as one team.”


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