PORT Macquarie coach Tony Pascoe didn’t know whether to laugh or cry yesterday even though the Sharks recorded a valuable 28-20 win over Orara Valley.
After leading 24-4 at the break Pascoe believed that his team went from chocolates to boiled lollies in the blink of an eye and nearly threw the two competition points away because of it.
“That was probably the worst 40 minutes that I’ve seen us play,” Pascoe bemoaned.
When asked what brought on the change while the oranges were handed out, the Port Macquarie coach was left scratching his head looking for answers.
“I wish I could tell you because then I could fix it,” he said.
“There was a lot of dropped ball, no movement of the ball and no movement off our line in defence.”
Orara Valley’s right-hand defence was a concern for the Axemen but it was late in the first half that their coach Darryl Fisher believed was the true turning point of the day.
“We were a bit unlucky because we probably had a 12-point turnaround which was costly in the end,” Fisher said.
“We had the opposition down our end but didn’t take our chance to score, then they take it all the way back and we let in a soft try.”
Paul Tomlinson again underlined why he is considered to be one of, if not the, premier forwards in the Group with a typical no-fuss, hard working performance.
The way that Tomlinson plays the game is an example to the young players coming through the squad because when it comes to putting his hand up, leading from the front and having great vision Tomlinson is up there with Hitler’s chauffeur.
One young player who followed the example was Jarrod Few who started at lock and then moved into the second row as the game progressed.
The Axemen have started the season with two close losses but Fisher is refusing to push the panic button at this stage.
“We’ve been competing really well and it will get better when we get some of our starting players back,” he said.
“There’s five out of our starting 17 that are missing at the moment.
“The players that have come in are doing a fantastic job but it’s hard to get the combinations together in only two or three weeks when we’ve been training all of this time with a different set of blokes.”
The Axemen have an opportunity to open their account on Sunday when they host Macleay Valley.
Nearly 48 hours ago this was an easy two points but Fisher knows that the weekend’s results prove that there’s going to be no easy games in 2010.