Out of sorts Snappers become easy mark for Port Pirates
A LYRIC line in Slim Dusty's classic A Pub With No Beer came to mind as Port Macquarie thumped Coffs Harbour 24-0 at TJ Jung Quarries Rugby Field.
There was "nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear ..." as standing in the drizzle as the Pirates picked apart their northern hosts.
Undoubtedly, an unexpected last gasp of winter weather played a part in the lack of vim and vigour.
Even when knuckles were produced every now and then in the second half, hostilities fizzled due to lack of interest.
Pirates scored four tries - two by running to gaps that opened up close to the line - and another pair by picking up the ball dropped by a Coffs player and making a scoot for the line.
All fairly clinical and simple when Snappers found great difficulty gaining anything close to forward supremacy.
"We didn't clean out and whatever ball we came up with we didn't look after it," Coffs coach Rob Waddy said.
"Things we spoke about doing around the rucks didn't happen ... maybe I should just put it down to the rain."
Apart from the lack of urgency, Snappers greatest problem came from lack of field position.
Wet days mean playing as much of the game as possible at the opponent's end and whenever the home side tried a clearing kick, invariably the ball went further in the air than down the field.
In those circumstances, the only way to win is through length of the field tries and on a slippery surface, again, it was an impossible task.
"The only positive was they only managed to put five points on us in the second half," Waddy added.
"With all the possession Port had, they didn't use it as well as they should have.
"In the end that was good for us."
The loss almost certainly means that Snappers won't be able to host the elimination semi final against Kempsey.
Upper MNC Rugby
Port Macquarie Pirates d Coffs Harbour Snappers 24-0
Hastings Valley Vikings d Kempsey Cannonballs 48-7
Southern Cross University Marlins bye
Port Macquarie d Coffs Harbour 14-12
Kempsey d Hastings Valley 22-21
SCU d Bowraville Goannas 29-12
Kempsey d Hastings Valley 27-7
Port Macquarie d Coffs Harbour 33-0
SCU d Dorrigo Rangers 10-5