PORT Macquarie Sharks ended the first half of the Group 3 rugby league season in style on Saturday with a great win over Wauchope Blues.
The Sharks kept the Blues scoreless in the second half to win 20-13 at Regional Stadium and end the first round with a perfect record.
It was, according to Sharks captain-coach Matt Shipway, the first time the team had been under serious pressure all season.
The Blues kicked a late field goal to lead 13-6 at the break.
The Sharks had discipline issues, with poor handling and conceded penalties hurting Shipway's team.
"One of my helpers was saying that we made eight errors in the first half," Shipway said. "And when you only have about 16 or 17 sets, that's a pretty big chunk."
On top of that, the Blues were enjoying some good footy.
"They have two of the better halves in the competition in Nick McCabe and Aaron Ison," Shipway said. "They were throwing some good passes, and we had a couple of bad reads in defence."
Shipway instructed his players to cut their mistakes in the second half, and the Sharks heeded his notice.
Cudmore gave the hosts the best possible start, with a charge down in the early stages of the second half.
The Sharks went on with it from there, playing the Blues out of the game.
Shipway is excited about what his players can achieve this season. They just need to stay motivated in coming weeks.
"We're coming into a funny period of the season," he said, referring to the part of the season before the finals heat up. "We have to just keep motivating the boys."
There's a round bye next weekend before a big derby against Port City Breakers.
The Breakers and Forster are the main worries for the Breakers so far, according to Shipway.
The Breakers match comes the day after the next North Coast representative match.
"They'll have two or three out and we'll have four or five," Shipway said. "It will be a good test of our depth."
More league: Wednesday