Consistency the key to Magpies' success

BERRY Magpies coach Nathan Benney believes if his side can turn up and play for 80 minutes, they can beat anyone in the competition.

It seems like a simple formula, but it is something they have struggled with in their last couple of hit outs.

Their last game against Milton-Ulladulla was case and point.

The Magpies led 18-4 with 20 minutes remaining, only for the Dogs to run in three unanswered tries and sneak home for a 20-18 win.

Depending on who you talk to, it was an exciting finish to the game, but Magpies coach Nathan Benney has a slightly different view.

“If you’re a Milton supporter then it probably was (exciting), but I’d say it was more disappointing and frustrating,” he said.

“We let them in for some soft tries and missed one-on-one tackles that we should have made.

“We made a couple of errors and to Milton’s credit, they capitalised and once they got a sniff that they were back in it, they came home strong.”

 Since their 30-4 victory over Port Kembla in their first game, the Magpies have struggled to play 80 minutes of quality football.

Benney said they played well for 40 minutes in their 28-14 loss to Kiama, while they managed 60 minutes against the Bulldogs.

It is something Benney knows they will have to correct when they host the unbeaten Warilla-Lake South Gorillas on Saturday.

Benney views the Gorillas as the team to beat this season and knows they will have to be 100 per cent on their game if they are going to get the result.

“We’ve got to play to our strengths and size isn’t one of them,” he said.

“They’re quite a big side and they have a very strong forward pack, so it would be a bit naïve to try and match them in the middle of the field.

“We’ve got to focus on moving the ball out wide and trying to match them with our speed and fitness.”

As usual, playing the full 80 minutes is of vital importance and Benney said they can only do that if they have the right mindset.

“Self reflection is something we like to do. We try and debrief and look at how we might be able to change things, but I think it is more mental than anything.”

Berry were missing a few players for the Milton-Ulladulla clash but will be almost back to full strength against the Gorillas with Josh Coulter, Brent Marando and Rory McCall in line to return.

The only absence will be co-captain Lloyd Sharpe, who still has one more week’s suspension to serve.

BOUNCING BACK: Berry Magpies captain coach Nathan Benney wants to put last week’s loss to Milton-Ulladulla behind them and focus on Saturday’s clash with the Warilla-Lake South Gorillas. Photo: PATRICK FAHY

BOUNCING BACK: Berry Magpies captain coach Nathan Benney wants to put last week’s loss to Milton-Ulladulla behind them and focus on Saturday’s clash with the Warilla-Lake South Gorillas. Photo: PATRICK FAHY

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