Rugby union: Hastings Valley Vikings to clash with Coffs Snappers

Hard yards: David Tunstead takes a hit-up against Kempsey.
Hard yards: David Tunstead takes a hit-up against Kempsey.

HASTINGS Valley Vikings coach Mark Howard knows if his team wants to finish in top spot they must beat Coffs Harbour on Saturday.

In a match that pits first against second, the Vikings will want to avenge a 36-25 defeat to the Snappers the last time they played.

On that occasion it was five tries each, with the two sides separated by goalkicking.

Howard admitted his side needed to be better with their discipline and attitude after being on the receiving end of most penalty counts this season.

“Referees don’t go in with a preconceived idea of how many penalties they’re going to award,” he said.

“But if you give them an opportunity to blow the penalty they will. We need to stop giving them the opportunity.”

He expected a tough battle in the forwards with both sides evenly matched across the park.

“The game will be won in the set pieces,” he said.

The versatile Lachlan Smith is overseas on holiday and will miss the match, but Glen Littler returns after a top-end tour of the country with his family.

The match kicks off at 3pm at Oxley Oval.