LIVE ACTION: Underdone Breakers to get gritty in Grafton
THE AFL North Coast competition has now moved past the halfway mark and as clubs start to turn their attention towards finals football.
The season to date has been extremely close so by looking too far forward, a team could lose perspective on what's right in front of them in round 7.
Never has the old adage 'one week at a time' been more relevant.
For the high flying Grafton Tigers the next challenge is posed by the reigning premiers, Coffs Harbour Breakers.
These two sides met in round one where the Tigers claimed a hard fought victory on away territory.
Since this time the Tigers have continued to build and are putting together an outstanding season. The only loss of 2020 was by one point, which sees Grafton sitting on top of the ladder and drawing even more former players out of the woodwork.
The Breakers continue to struggle with injuries and are yet to put their strongest team on the park in 2020.
This week is expected to be no different and as a result, the premiers are struggling to find any kind of rhythm or consistency. Having to face an in-form Tigers outfit at their home ground is not the ideal scenario for Breakers.
The other men's match of round 7 sees a confident Sawtell Toormina Saints face off against a Port Macquarie Magpies outfit that needs to start hitting its straps.
The Saints are buoyed by a second local derby win on the trot and will be looking to further consolidate second spot on the ladder.
After a tough year in 2019 the pieces of the puzzle are coming together for Sawtell who are looking like they has the makings of a playing group that can challenge for major honours.
Port had a tough day at the office last week, playing undermanned against the top team. While the effort can't be faulted, the team desperately needs to get its strongest 22 players on the park together to start winning matches and exerting influence on the ladder.
The finals prospects aren't yet dire, but another loss in this round would see the Pies with a mountain to climb.
The women's match of the round sees the clash of the top two teams - Coffs Harbour up against Northern Beaches Blues.
The Breakers have four wins from as many starts and while another win won't yet seal the top spot, it will put them within touching distance of an unassailable lead.
The team has been playing with a steely resolve in 2020 that appears to have been forged in last season's finals disappointment.
The Blues have been improving week on week and are growing in confidence. There's no better way to measure how a team is progressing than to go head to head with the leading team and this will be a challenge that the Blues will relish.
Women's footy has a reputation for low scoring games, but both of these teams have thrown off the shackles in recent weeks and this is sure to be a free flowing encounter.
Being played at Ellem Oval, Grafton at 11:40am on Saturday, this is a great chance for women and girls of the Clarence to get along and have a look.
Fans will be able to watch the action via The Daily Examiner and Coffs Coast Advocate websites, courtesy of Kyle Hands Media, who has begun beaming live local sport into homes as restrictions on spectators have increased.Live stream links below: Women's: https://youtu.be/OFn6vgVvcmk Reserves: https://youtu.be/wlVfpCAheBs Seniors: https://youtu.be/zmJg1pTqib0