TOM Maguire led the way as Port Macquarie Sharks snapped a two-game losing streak with a 38-16 win over Wauchope.
The Sharks were already low on troops before the game without the services of Kurt Molony, Chris Green and Ben Read.
Scott Grant (knee) and Kyle Ellison (foot) then added their names to the unavailable list with injuries in the first 10 minutes.
It did little to disrupt the Sharks continuity as they raced out to a 20-4 lead at the break.
The Blues scored a few late consolation tries after Port Macquarie halfback Kieren Gallagher was sent to the sinbin for his part in a scuffle.
Sharks coach Wayne Grant was pleased with the way his side bounced back from last week’s disappointing 42-16 defeat to Macleay Valley.
He said Maguire was very strong up front.
“Tommy has certainly stepped up and taken more of a leadership role this year now that Joey and Shippy aren’t around,” Grant said.
“He’s been very good for us.”
Grant was satisfied the Sharks were where they should be after four rounds.
“It was always going to take a while for the combinations to jell,” he said.
“We were never not going to be competitive, we just weren’t going to be as strong as we were last year.”
The 22-point win came at just the right time with the Sharks set to tackle cross-town rivals Port City next Saturday in a rematch of last year’s grand final.
“It gives us something to build on because we didn’t want to be going into that game on the back of three-straight losses,” Grant said.