Snappers are scorched in second stanza
THAT half-time happy feeling around Coffs Harbour rugby players at Oxley Oval turned into second-half misery in the meeting with Hastings Valley.
The home side had scored unconverted tries through Adam McCormack and Dan Willoughby but the Snappers had registered a pair of penalties to be breathing down their necks.
The unbeaten competition leaders were putting themselves under pressure through an inability to handle the slushy conditions and for a few fleeting moments the smell of an upset wafted through the icy seaside air.
Forty minutes later, Vikings had smashed their northern rivals to win 36-6, putting an extra bounce in the steps of players heading off to the 20th anniversary celebration ball.
Further north, Kempsey Cannonballs were marking 40 years in the zone competition by hosting a visit from Port Macquarie.
Once again the visiting team copped a pasting, with Pirates crashing to an 18-point defeat and their worst start to a season in memory.
Vikings and Cannonballs had extra reason to savour the moment, with the four tries scored earning a vital bonus point.
Upper MNC Rugby
Kempsey Cannonballs d Port Macquarie Pirates 33-15
Hastings Valley Vikings d Coffs Harbour Snappers 36-6
Southern Cross University Marlins bye
SCU v Hastings Valley
Coffs Harbour v Port Macquarie
Kempsey d Port Macquarie 34-7
Hastings Valley d Coffs Harbour 45-7
Kempsey d Port Macquarie 24-10
SCU d Dorrigo Rangers 37-0
Hastings Valley d Port Macquarie Black by forfeit