Day two at the 2005 Asics National Touch League heated up in both competition and weather. It may sound corny but it’s definitely the truth. Many of the teams had at least two games today, if not three, and there were certainly some struggling to maintain the pace and the skills in the Coffs sun. Day two saw some cracker matches, with the `match of the timeslot’ (see reports in the results story) providing all the spectators down at the Coffs Harbour stadium with some top class competition. MENS OPEN: In Pool A the Rustlers steal top spot from the Suns after a narrow one touchdown victory in their round match after a controversial touchdown right on the siren. The Rustlers, Hornets, Suns and Mets look like they will be the four sides to qualify for the quarters, with the Mets sitting in fourth now and facing a difficult quarter final if they can’t move one or two places up the ladder tomorrow. Pool B looks like it will be close and tough, with the Sharks and Scorpions guaranteed quarter final spots, while the Cobras and Cyclones look likely to go through. For the Barbarians though, a win over the Cobras tomorrow morning may just get them into the quarters. The Sharks remain undefeated; their 5-4 win over rivals the Cobras was one of the matches of the day and sets up a great finals race between some traditional rivals. WOMENS OPEN: In Pool A the North Queensland Cyclones remain undefeated, somewhat of a surprise for pre-tournament punters. The Hunter Western Hornets have crept in front of the Sharks women, another surprise and the Suns are very close to missing out on a quarter final spot. Both the ACT and Eagles are yet to win a match; their clash will no doubt be eagerly awaited. The 3-3 draw played out between the Cobras and Mets sees those sides sitting on top of the ladder in pool B, with the Barbarians and Crusaders filling up the top four sides. Bo De La Cruz is back on the field for the Barbarians after injuring her ankle, and while definitely not at her best, she makes a big difference with her leadership and experience. After a strong start yesterday, the Crusaders went backwards on day two with two losses and one draw against the Scorpions 4-4. The Scorpions are sitting at the bottom of pool B’s ladder, yet to win a match, while the Rebels recorded their first win, against the struggling Scorpions unfortunately. MIXED OPEN: After six rounds the Mixed Open competition is a very even affair, with at least four sides quite capable of winning the event. The Sharks, Mets, Cobras and Scorpions all look strong and the match of the day no doubt was the Mets one touchdown win over the Sharks. The Sharks have been tipped to win the competition and certainly look to be capable of doing so. The Cobras 7-5 win over the Scorpions was another great match, with both sides showing they have the potential to match the Mets and Sharks. The ACT, Barbarians and Rustlers are struggling at the bottom of the ladder, but will be looking to improve over the final two days of competition. MENS 20 YEARS: Pool A appears to be a fairly tight affair, with several sides capable of winning on their day. The Suns look in the best form, especially after an easy win over the Brisbane Cobras. The Sharks and Eagles played out a close match earlier in the day and look to be sides capable of winning the title if they can put in a good performance. The Eagles will need to be on their game tomorrow, as they sit just ahead of the Hunter Western Hornets for the final spot in the quarter finals. The Eagles look to have an absolute pile of talent and by far the fastest team in the competition but haven’t been able to put it all together for an entire match against quality opposition yet. The ACT are struggling in what looks to be the tougher of the two pools, but with a young side will no doubt improve in the years to come. In Pool B the Rustlers and Sydney Mets drew to keep them both at the top of the ladder, adding another two sides more than capable of challenging pool A leaders, the Southern Suns. The Sydney Rebels are struggling, yet to win a match while the Crusaders’ win over the Rebels may just guarantee them a quarter final spot, albeit against the top finishing pool A side! The Cyclones looked promising this morning, with a 15-3 win over the Rebels but they then crumbled to a 12-2 defeat at the hands of the Mets. They will want to hold onto third position for the quarter finals. WOMENS 20 YEARS: In Pool A it is a Queensland affair with the Brisbane Cobras and South Queensland Sharks both yet to lose a match. The Sharks are looking the strongest, having only let in 7 touchdowns for the whole tournament. With the Crusaders and Scorpions both yet to win a match, it looks as though the Sydney Mets and the Cyclones, who have won two games and lost two games, will make it through to the quarter finals. After a slow start in pool B yesterday, the Southern Suns have climbed to the top of what is a very even and complicated ladder, sitting there with the local Northern Eagles, who after a close 5-4 win over the Rebels are looking promising for local fans. The Hornets, ACT and Rebels will all be fighting tomorrow for the final two spots in the quarter finals, making it a very interesting final day before the finals begin. By Rachel Moyle, [email protected] WEBSITES: The 2005 Asics National Touch League Sporting Pulse website contains the final draws, results and also statistics such as touchdown scorers. Please use the following link: 2005 NATIONAL TOUCH LEAGUE DRAWS & RESULTS All feature articles will be placed on the www.austouch.com.au homepage and also on the above Sporting Pulse page as often as possible.