Bello bitten by hot Shark attack

AN edge in enthusiasm was the key ingredient for Port Macquarie’s 32-20 defeat of Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo in Saturday’s opening round of VB Gold Group 2 rugby league on Saturday.

The Sharks headed to Bellingen Park aware of a poor recent record at ‘the graveyard’ but instead of being awed by the occasion, it was the home side left to brush off the rust encrusted on the battle swords during the off-season.

“Any side that comes here and wins should get four (competition) points instead of two,” Port coach Tony Pascoe commented.

“Maybe we had an edge with the experienced players switched on early in the season.”

He was obviously talking about the vastly under-rated Jeremy Lang who showed enormous commitment, leaving his team mates no option but to follow his example.

The Magpies suffered the worst start imaginable while attacking the Sharks line when opposing winger Alfie Scott snatched a lazy pass out wide, juggled it five times in thin air before laying his ears back in the run to the far end.

“Terrible start to the game,” Magpies coach Josh White growled.

“They looked like a team who were meeting for the first time and still calling each other ‘mister’.”

Port never got so far enough ahead they were ever certain of winning but the home side’s inability to score back-to-back tries cost them severely.

“Sure, I wish we’d gone better but considering we lost our first three games last year and still went within a converted try of making the grand final, I can live with it,” White added.

“Today, we missed a leader in the pack and Dan (Russell) didn’t dominate like he usually does.

“They were pretty rusty but I’m confident the side has the ability to turn things around quickly.”

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