CRUSHING BLOW: Sawtell Saints ran out 143-point victors against the Grafton Tigers when they met at Richardson park in Round 1.
CRUSHING BLOW: Sawtell Saints ran out 143-point victors against the Grafton Tigers when they met at Richardson park in Round 1. Gemima Harvey

Tigers confident of winning games despite round one crushing

AFL: Any thoughts the gap between reigning premier Sawtell/Toormina and the rest of the AFL North Coast has diminished over summer have quickly been put to rest.

The Saints flexed their muscle in the opening match of the season, handing out a 143-point thumping to the Grafton Tigers at Richardson Park.

From the word go Sawtell/Toormina had its foot on the pedal, quickly establishing a match winning lead and didn't let up at any stage.

When the final siren sounded the Saints ran out comfortable winners 28.20 (188) to Grafton's 7.3 (45).

Tigers Junior president Wayne Phillips said despite the scoreline, there were definitely encouraging signs for the Tigers team.

"It was fantastic to see the club have a full senior side on the park," Phillips said.

"It was almost something different for coach Warren Bagnall as he nearly got the opportunity to coach the boys without having to play.

"Even though we had a full team, it is mainly made up of lots of new players that haven't played together before.

"In the first half of the game they were really starting well together as a team and were moving the ball really well. There was only four goals in it at half time.

"As it was their first game together as a team the signs are that they will win lots of games this year."

THE contest was a lot closer at Port Macquarie where kicking five goals to one in the third quarter paved the way for the Magpies to get the four points ahead of the Coffs Harbour Breakers.

Port Macquarie led by only the barest of margins at the main break but kicked away to win 13.10 (88) to 8.10 (58).

Jesse Schmidt and Adam Mannes led the scoring for the home team kicking three goals each.

The next round of matches sees the inaugural cross conference matches being played.

Grafton and Port Macquarie will be playing the Lismore Swans and Tweed Coast Tigers respectively at Grafton while Sawtell/Toormina and the Coffs Harbour Breakers will be travelling to Ballina.

The Saints will face the Byron Bay Magpies while the Breakers meet the Bombers on home ground.



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