It's tougher than it looks
By ADRIAN MILLER
LOOK at the Coopers Far North Coast Rugby Union ladder and you'd be forgiven for thinking it will be an easy win for the Pacific Hotel Yamba Buccaneers in Yamba today when they face Coolangatta-Tweed Barbarians. But the table, which shows Yamba in outright second and Coolangatta second-last, only tells half the story. It doesn't tell you that Tweed have faced an injury crisis for most of the season and consequently have rarely fielded their best side. It doesn't show you the Baa Baas have struggled for player numbers and it definitely doesn't show that they have pushed all the top sides at some stage during the year. In a way, Tweed's season mirrors that of the Buccaneers last year almost precisely ? except Yamba finished bottom. So add Tweed's potential to Yamba's disrupted preparation this week due to the Grafton Racing Carnival and the unavailability of key Yamba forwards Sean Riley, Anthony Edwards and Pat Day, and all the elements are there for an intriguing contest this afternoon. But Yamba captain Luke Turner expects the Yamba fortress to repel the Barbarians. "We know they'll be tough, but we still expect to win," he said. "At the start of the year we spoke about turning Yamba into a real tough place for teams to come and play at and so far we've achieved that. "We haven't lost at home this year and we are keen to continue that trend." Turner said even with the disruptions, Yamba would look to secure the win early. "Replacing Riley, Edwards and Day will be tough, but the boys form thirds who will come up are all quality players," he said. "Last week we started really well and we want to do that again. "If we can score a few tries early on it'll make it much tougher for them and they'll be trying to play catch-up all day, something we are good at repelling."