PORT City Breakers’ free-wheeling attack showed glimpses of its best in a 44-8 demolition of Port Sharks on Saturday.
In a scary sign for the rest of the Group 3 rugby league competition, last year’s premiers did it with the absence of six regular first graders.
Breakers coach Dan Kemp felt there was still a lot of room for improvement despite starting the season with five-straight wins.
“We’re miles away from where we want to be,” he said.
Mitch Fowler, Cody and Jarrod Robbins, Andrew Fox, Ethan Hyde (injury) and Luke Sinclair (representative duties) missed the clash, but the Breakers still barely missed a beat in the eight-tries-to-two romp.
They led 24-4 at the break and went on with it at the second half.
Fullback Owen Blair was one of the Breakers best, scoring two tries including winning a 60-metre dash to the ball from a clearing Ben Stewart kick.
Blair also chipped over Sharks fullback Harley Gore for his first try.
We’re miles away from where we want to be.Port City Breakers coach Dan Kemp
Kemp said Blair gave his side another element in attack.
“He loves that type of footy when you get away from the script,” he said.
“He’s happy to play backyard footy – he’s cheeky, he loves it.”
The Breakers barely left second gear and Kemp admitted the match lacked the usual physicality of a local derby.
“It wasn’t as fast and furious as your standard derby, that’s for sure but we got the job done,” he said.
“There wasn’t too much heavy contact; it was a relaxed derby and it was a good chance to give some reserve graders a run.
“Chris Baker from our under-18s made his debut and was really good for us.”
Lock forward Chris Piper was solid in the middle of the park for the Breakers.
Piper capped off his game with a try in the 59th minute.
It wasn’t as fast and furious as your standard derby, that’s for sure but we got the job done.Dan Kemp
He has been with the club for three seasons, but this season is his first after work commitments forced him away from the area.
“Chris is now back with us – his junior club – and playing good football,” Kemp said.
“He’s a big, aggressive man but probably doesn’t get enough raps for his footy IQ.
“He’s really intelligent and been in some good systems and passes it on.”
Sharks coach Wayne Grant said fundamental errors cost his side, but he was pleased with the performance of captain and front-rower Tom Maguire.
“For a front rower to play 80 minutes is an outstanding effort,” he said.
Maguire’s hard work was rewarded with a consolation try in the 74th minute.
Grant said the Sharks mounting injury toll wasn’t helping their cause, but felt the Breakers were beatable.
I’m not giving up.Port Macquarie Sharks coach Wayne Grant
“It’s a challenge keeping the players upbeat, but we’ve got some work to do,” he said.
“I’m not giving up.”
The Breakers claimed all four grades, with reserve grade registering a 36-24 win in the top-of-the-table clash.
Their under-18s won 18-12 while the ladies league tag were too good for the Sharks 28-8.