A POWERHOUSE second half display from the Berry Magpies has resulted in a 58-22 thrashing of Port Kembla in their Group 7 Rugby League fixture.
The Magpies scored 10 tries to five amid blustery conditions at Noel Mulligan Oval on Saturday afternoon.
After leading 18-12 at the oranges, the visitors went on the rampage throughout the second stanza, seemingly making line breaks and creating second-phase play at will.
Centre Josh Coulter nabbed a 26-point haul.
The sin-binning of Port utility Scott Crowther mere seconds before the half-time siren was a crucial moment, Berry netting four tries against a 12-man opposition.
Signs were ominous early when the Magpies crossed the stripe twice within the opening five minutes.
After a Blacks' error and compounding penalty, hooker Blake Dryden nabbed an easy try.
From the next set of tackles they quickly spread the ball wide and winger Rory McCall possessed too much pace for the cover defence.
Both teams didn’t so much butcher as slaughter a series of promising attacking opportunities.
Among the first half highlights were a combined total of three 40-20 kicks, but scrappy play prevented further points until the midway point when Sifa Hala cut the deficit to 12-4.
Four-pointers to Tane Sturmey and Rob Moylan (the latter after Crowther’s great lead-up work) in short order levelled the ledger.
Port paid the price for Crowther’s professional foul though, with veteran interchange player Trent Burns barging over from close range.
The breeze noticeably picked up at the break, but didn’t thwart Berry’s momentum, defensive lapses and one-on-one missed tackles cruelling the home team.
Rory McCall streaked away to extend the buffer in the 43rd minute, Blake Harris-Davis went through a yawning gap to score untouched and Jackson Bramley beat some feeble defence to make it 36-12.
It became a procession when pivot Josh Ingold weaved around a few would-be tacklers and eventually found Nathan Benney.
To the Blacks’ credit they didn’t surrender, Christian Kupenga hanging on to a difficult pass and diving over in the corner.
Port’s inspirational leader Mark Simon also attempted to motivate his troops.
After a long-range Berry break from the scrum-base, he chased Jack Woodall for 70 metres and was rewarded for his perseverance when he knocked the ball out of the opposing player’s hands while attempting to put the ball down.
The halfback then helped lay on a Moylan try, and kicked the sideline conversion.
Despite this, a late Magpies flurry blew the score-line out further, Coulter registering a double and Pat Watson also scoring.
Ingold, Benney, Blaine Rozs and Coulter were Berry’s standouts, while Simon, Sturmey and Moylan never stopped trying for the Blacks.