SCU Marlins cut loose on Port Pirates to climb rugby ladder
IT WAS another milestone moment when Southern Cross University upset Port Macquarie 20-12 in a tough meeting at Marlin Park.
Marlins racked up back-to-back wins for the first time in the club's modern history and the scalp collected was one of the biggest in bush rugby.
Of course, the club did win a highly controversial clash with the Pirates in 2013 but on this occasion, coach Dave Nicol is adamant there was nothing flukey.
"It was forward power again," he said.
"The boys turned it on right from the start and didn't give Port any chances.
"I always knew they would get it together at some stage and it's probably because they are all four years older and smarter from the day they came together.
"And a heck of a lot fitter which is something they remark about at training.
"They all realise now how much easier it is to still have wind at the end of the day after working on fitness."
A revitalised Port side came out in the second stanza and began making inroads but the Coffs side withstood the pressure.
"For a couple of minutes I though we'd gone back to the old ways and was about to be steamrollered," Nicol admitted.
"Instead we knuckled down again and kick on to the end."
Nicol said Tom Lowrey was the pick of the forwards, just ahead of 2014 captain-coach Cameron Smith who has come back in blistering form following an injury-plagued season.
Meanwhile, Coffs Harbour was just edged out 15-12 by Kempsey at TJ Jung Quarries Rugby Field.
Once again match-winning winger Waqa Yaya saw too little of the football and the side squandered much of their hard-won possession when in scoring positions.
Upper MNC Rugby
Kempsey Cannonballs d Coffs Harbour Snappers 15-12
Southern Cross University Marlins d Port Macquarie Pirates 20-12
Hastings Valley Vikings bye
Kempsey d Coffs Harbour 17-7
SCU d Port Macquarie 16-5
Dorrigo Rangers d Bowraville Goannas 22-17
Hastings Valley d Woolgoolga White Pointers 36-17
Coffs Harbour d Kempsey 33-12
SCU d Port Macquarie 26-15
Bowraville d Hastings Valley 89-0
Coffs Harbour d Kempsey 78-5
SCU v Port Macquarie deferred
Hastings Valley d Dorrigo 24-17
SCU d Coffs Harbour Barbarians on forfeit
Coffs Harbour v Dorrigo tba
Hastings Valley Barbarians v Kempsey tba
Port Macquarie Red d Port Macquarie Black on forfeit