Ghosts Chasing Comets in Group 2 Grand Final

Updated: August 16, 2019
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The Coffs Harbour Comets have the chance to claim back-to-back premierships for the first time since 1974 against the Grafton Ghosts on Sunday but the Ghosts are out for redemption.

Comets Captain / Coach Steve Spencer believes his side could have started better against the Ghosts in the Major Semi-Final two weeks ago and says they will need to match their intensity right from the kick-off this Sunday.

“We started off pretty poorly,” Spencer said.

“Then ended up 16 nil down at half-time but showed character, grit and determination in that second half to come back and win that game.

“Coffs have got some big forwards that do like to go forward so we need to able to weather the storm and then play our usual footy that’s got us winning games throughout the year.

“I put the winning down to cohesion within the team; the chemistry we’ve built at an early stage in the year has given us a good platform to be able to string those games together.”

After only half of last year’s premiership-winning side remaining and losing their Coach Brandon Costin, Spencer has been impressed with the how the team has gelled this season.

“I guess that’s why it’s been a sweeter year, talking about that cohesion.

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“We’ve probably only got eight or nine players from last year; we’ve had a whole new six and seven from England and a few forwards and that has helped bolster us.

“We’ve all contributed well but I if was going to pull on the biggest strength in our side it would be our forwards.

“With our rotation, we don’t lose much once we do replace the big forwards up front and we continue to gain momentum with that.

“I lost my mentor Brandon Costin who is now coaching the Fijian side but it’s easy to take off from where he left last year with the things he’s implemented and the culture that he’s made within the club.”

In his first season at the Ghosts helm in 2017, former St George, Knights and Parramatta player Danny Wicks took the club to an undefeated Group 2 premiership and a Clayton Cup win.

Despite earning the minor premiership last year, the Ghosts missed out on a Grand Final berth, so Wicks is eager to make up for it.

“I think last year it came down to looking too far ahead,” Wicks said.

“We focused on the week going to Coffs and playing Coffs, that was the focus rather than the team that was in front of us.

“That was my fault as a coach, I went in a bit too complacent and I think all the rest of the boys followed.

“This year was a bit of a different story – we focused on one week at a time and the game that was in front of us.”

Wicks believes all aspects of their game will need to improve on the weekend, but most importantly their completion, which let them down against Coffs in the Semi-Final.

“We went in leading 16 nil at half-time and completed three out 12 sets in the second half.

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“Any good sides like Coffs is going to exploit that and we paid the price of not having a Grand Final at home for it, so we’ve got the opportunity to go back down there and turn things around hopefully.”

The Ghosts are expecting a big crowd to support the home team on Sunday but Wicks is confident their supporters will be there and admitted he is grateful to be playing for his junior club again.

“That’s going to be the difference between a win and a loss I think, whoever’s got the most supporters there generally wins on Grand Final day.

“The crowds are great factor when it comes to maybe swaying the referee with the boos or the cheers or whatever it is.

“But it just always seems blokes want to turn up and play a bit better when your home crowd is following you and we’ve got great supporters, we get probably 100 people that follow us to most games.

“Grafton’s a really good club, very family orientated and you know, there’s always good people in and around the club.

“Playing local footy for the club that I played for when I was a junior is a bit of bonus too.

“It’s a great club and it’s been good to be back home and putting a little bit back in I suppose, with what I’ve learnt throughout my travels, so hopefully it filters through.”

The Coffs Harbour Comets v Grafton Ghosts Grand Final will be played on Sunday, 18th August at Geoff King Motors Oval, Coffs Harbour and will kick-off at 2:45pm.

 

Group 2 Grand Final Day Schedule:

10:00am – Ladies League Tag – Coffs Harbour Comets v Macksville Sea Eagles

11:15am – Under 18’s – Coffs Harbour Comets v Macksville Sea Eagles

12:45pm – Reserve Grade – Sawtell Panthers v South Grafton Rebels

2:45pm – First Grade – Coffs Harbour Comets v Grafton Ghosts

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