HASTINGS Valley Vikings will take on Coffs Snappers again tomorrow as they look to secure a Mid North Coast rugby grand final spot in a fortnight's time.
The Snappers are the same opposition the Vikings smashed 60-10 last weekend in the last round of the regular season, but the hosts are expecting a far different prospect at Oxley Oval.
Vikings coach Andrew Kable heard a report suggesting the Snappers had as many as eight reserve graders on the field in the top division. Kable expects the Snappers to come out firing tomorrow, but he's confident the Vikings will be able to handle whatever's thrown at them.
Kable's men found another gear last weekend. It was 43-0 at the break.
"The guys really found their motion last Saturday," Kable said.
They faced a baffling problem: 11 scrum penalties when the Vikings were the dominant pack.
"The penalty count against us was phenomenal," Kable said.
"It was very difficult for the guys to comprehend why they were being penalised."
He's addressed binding problems in a bid to eradicate that problem.
Dan Willoughby (hip), Tom Sheaves (illness) and Glen Littler (hamstring) are in some doubt for the match, and Kable wasn't taking any chances with them.
The match isn't sudden death, and Kable wasn't willing to risk his players' health. The trio will undertake fitness tests this afternoon.
One man who's fit and firing is captain Andrew West. West has spent time in the 12 and 13 jerseys this season, and plays well no matter what number is on his back.
Kable had plenty of praise for West.
"He's playing so well," he said.
"He's an excellent captain and a fantastic footballer."
West was happy to deflect that praise onto his team. He puts the Vikings' success this season down to the defence.
"It's been unreal," he said.
No.8 Tom Woods has been a standout, as has prop Jeremy Segol.
Even when the top players haven't taken to the park, the team has still done well.
West said that was down to the club's depth.
"Blokes have been able to step up," he said.