IT WAS nine minutes of magic and madness that not only got the Port City Breakers on the road to a good win over the Taree City Bulls, but gave them a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the Group 3 rugby league finals.
Down 28-4 at halftime at Regional Sports Stadium, the Breakers posted four tries within nine minutes of play in the second half to rocket back into the game at 26-24, before sealing the match with two more late tries.
Port’s golden period started two minutes into the half, when winger Luke Ackroyd chipped over the Bulls’ defence, before regathering and scoring.
Glen Littler scored under the posts and Josh Hyde – who’d just become a father for the first time – crossed the stripe on virtually the Breakers’ next use of the football to have the Bulls nervous as their lead was slipping away.
Port then put the ball through the hands for Damion Booby to score in the corner.
Ackroyd had a difficult kick to level the scores, but it didn’t matter in the end as prop Mitch Fowler – who’d done much of the work to get the Breakers into good field position and able to score points – crossed twice in the final 20 to take the game away from the Bulls.
Fowler’s second effort capped off a great match for him.
He charged through some soft defence from 30 metres out to go over next to the corner flag.
Ackroyd added the extras to rub salt into Taree’s wounds and seal a good win.
Breakers coach Ben Sprague was thrilled with the second half effort, after blasting his side at halftime.
“I just told them to have a good look at each other,” he said.
“We were flat, and it showed in the first half.
“[The win last week against] Forster flattened us.”
The win means the Breakers can’t miss a top two spot, ensuring a second bite at the cherry in the major semi-final.
And if Taree beats Wauchope next weekend and Port knocks over Old Bar, the Breakers could even find themselves the holders of a minor premiership.
Sprague summed up by saying that the victory said a lot about the Breakers.
“It showed them that when we want to play, we can do anything,” he said.