Forwards thinking leads to win

OLD-fashioned wet-weather tactics marked the difference between Port Macquarie and Orara Valley when the Sharks cruised home 42-18 at rain-swept Coramba yesterday.

With props Matt Blake and Michael Bright running hard and straight up the middle, a short passing game in the ruck area and clearing kicks when necessary by Jeremy Lang, the visitors proved they’d learned plenty from their shock defeat in the opening round.

“I thought we finally got our act together late in the loss to Coffs and went on with the job today,” Sharks coach Tony Pascoe said.

“There were nice touches from the new kids in the side but we’re still a work in progress and I’m really pleased how quickly we’ve come back to form.”

While Port kept charging forward, the Axemen runners went one out too often and their lateral running was like gold to the opposing defence – for which co-coach Grant Douglass expressed regret.

“Too many unforced errors and even considering the weather that’s unacceptable and I want to apologise to the supporters who braved the rain today,” Douglass said.

“We have to be running the right lines in attack and to our credit we started doing that in the last 10 minutes and finished stronger.

“But by then the match had slipped away.”

One positive for the Axemen was the enterprise shown by impressive hooker Corey Quigg.

His guile and deft placement of the ball from dummy half received praise from Sharks coach Pascoe, one of the toughest markers in the business.

Lang and Bright were again superb in all facets of play for the visitors.

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