FULL STEAM AHEAD: Redmen no.8 Ed McGrath will need to be at his bullocking best against Coffs Snappers today for Grafton to secure a home major-semi final.
FULL STEAM AHEAD: Redmen no.8 Ed McGrath will need to be at his bullocking best against Coffs Snappers today for Grafton to secure a home major-semi final. Gary Nichols

Redmen home semi on the line against Snappers

RUGBY UNION: McKimms Grafton Redmen will be hoping they have enough fuel left in the tank to overcome Coffs Snappers on Saturday at Jung Quarries Rugby Park to clinch the Mid North Coast minor premiership.

A win against the Snappers with a bonus point will not only wrap up first place on the ladder, but more importantly, secure a home major semi-final on July 28 against Hastings Valley Vikings.

Grafton are on 51 points, with Vikings breathing down their neck one point in arrears. Vikings should be far too strong for an out-of-form Marlins side this weekend and will also be desperate to pick up the all-important bonus point.

Last time Grafton and the Snappers met, the Redmen snuck home with a last-gasp 28-21 victory thanks to a brilliant individual try by fullback Karrnunny Pearce.

Redmen vice-captain and scrumhalf Dom Bullock is expecting another tough encounter against their arch-rivals on Saturday.

"There's never an easy game against Snappers and we are expecting them to be hard to beat at home," Bullock said during the week. "Last time we played them they were quick to the breakdown and we got a bit flustered. They stifled our attack but we've been working hard all week on that aspect of our game to hopefully rectify the problem."

This season, Grafton has gained the reputation as the competition comeback kings, but according to Bullock his side will need to come out of the blocks firing against a Snappers side that has hit a purple patch of form at the business end of the season.

"We need to stick to our structures and again rely on our ability to come home strong at the back end of each half," he said.

Grafton have made two changes to their side this week, with Jacob Page replacing an injured Billy Whalan and Ryan Spies adding pace on the wing.



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