PORT Macquarie Magpies gave themselves too much work to do during a 61-point loss to Coffs Harbour on Saturday.
It took the Magpies more than three quarters to kick their first goal and the Breakers made them pay on the way to a 14.7 (91) to 4.6 (30) victory.
By the time the home team converted their first goal the Breakers were out of sight.
Midfielder Scott Dalton admitted they battled on bravely in the second half, but the slow start cost them dearly.
“It took us too long to switch on,” he said.
The Magpies had their chances.
“We kicked six behinds before we kicked a goal so we had no issues getting the footy into the forward 50,” Dalton said.
“We just couldn’t convert.”
The Breakers led by 23 points at the first change and had extended their lead to a match-winning 55-point deficit by the main break.
It blew out to 67 points by three-quarter time, but the Magpies put some respectability on the scoreboard with a competitive final term.
They kicked four goals to three in the fourth quarter to create some momentum ahead of next week’s tough clash with Byron Bay.
“We showed what we’re capable of; we can do it and be competitive against the really good teams, but we’ve just got to do it consistently,” Dalton said.
We kicked six behinds before we kicked a goal so we had no issues getting the footy into the forward 50.
The Magpies midfielder was disappointed they didn’t make the Breakers work for all their goals.
“It’s important for us to continue playing the way we know we can,” he said.
“We know we’re capable of playing good footy, but we just can’t do it consistently. We gave them three goals all from free kicks in the first quarter.”
“The second quarter they kicked five goals to none but we battled back really well in the second half.”
Fellow midfielder Dylan Beasley along with Lachy Philpott, Brad Smith and Kyle Lynch all performed strongly.
“Dylan has been good for us over the last couple of weeks and stepped up a level this year,” Dalton said.
“We’ve got to start playing a full game; if we started how we finished we would have given them a really decent scare.”