Waratah State League: Port Macquarie Dolphins return home for clashes with St George and Hills Hornets

To the hoop: Jake Wallis gets away a shot during a pre-season trial with Newcastle. Photo: Ivan Sajko
To the hoop: Jake Wallis gets away a shot during a pre-season trial with Newcastle. Photo: Ivan Sajko

PORT Macquarie Dolphins probably forget what it’s like to play at home.

After spending their first six matches of the Waratah State League season on the road, the Dolphins will finally return home on Saturday night.

Since the competition tipped off on March 17, Port Macquarie has been forced to hit the road every weekend.

It’s added another challenge to a season that coach Mark Champion always anticipated would be a struggle.

While most of the results have been one-sided, Champion has patiently witnessed some positive patches in amongst the six losses.

“We’ve been able to beat sides over a quarter or two; we just haven’t been able to do it for four quarters and that’s been the difference,” Champion said.

“I didn’t expect the number of blowouts that we’ve had, but I did expect we would be good in some quarters and not so good in others.

“That’s what you get when you have an inexperienced side.”

Champion pointed to single-figure half-time deficits that blew out significantly in the second half.

“We trailed Newcastle by nine points when we played down there and then we were beaten by 50,” he said.

“A similar thing happened when we played Manly, so it’s been a learning curve in amongst a lot of travel.”

The “quirk” of the draw will see the Dolphins play their first home match of the season on Saturday night.

From now until the end of the season they only have another two games on the road – one of which is to Coffs Harbour.

“Hopefully we can get a bit of a run and some good performances at home,” Champion said.

The Dolphins clash with ladder-leaders St George at 6pm on Saturday night before they back up against second-placed Hills Hornets from midday on Sunday.


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