TEENAGE winger Taj O'Brien scored a hat-trick on debut as Port City Breakers belted Taree City Bulls 74-6 at Regional Stadium on Sunday.
O'Brien scored with his first touch of the footy inside five minutes before he crossed for two more after the Bulls knocked-on from the kick-off.
Unfortunately for them, it was a sign of things to come with the Breakers running rampant in the 15-tries-to-one drubbing.
Breakers halfback Ant Cowan had an off day with the boot otherwise the scoreline could have blown out even further.
He kicked seven from 15 although several of his misses were from out wide, but coach Dan Kemp said his side carried out "exactly" what they wanted to do.
The 2018 Group 3 grand finalists raced out to a 48-0 lead at the break before they coasted home.
"It's pretty hard to keep the foot on the throat," Kemp said.
He was most pleased with the effort of a handful of his under-18 charges who were given a taste of the top grade.
"We had four under-18s have a go and two boys made their debut," he said.
"Taj O'Brien got a try with his first touch and then (scored) three for the day."
The Breakers know they will face tougher tests in coming weeks, but they will also take confidence from snapping a four-game winless run.
"Whether it may only be false confidence, winning is winning," Kemp said.
"Some boys have been having a rough time lately and individually they got to feel good about themselves."
After having a wretched run of injuries that saw eight regular first graders miss the clash, Port City encouragingly didn't add to their casualty ward.
"We walk off here and don't have anyone with broken arms or ribs or legs or whatever," the coach said.
"We got everything we wanted; we felt like we would win today without being arrogant, we just wanted to do it the right way and walk off with a smile on our face."
Disappointed Taree City coach Todd Bridge admitted they were always facing a tough battle when they had just 10 senior players across two grades attend training on Tuesday night.
"We only had 10 fresh first graders and had to get seven from reserve grade so it makes it tough on the club," he said.
"I'm proud of the blokes that were out there, but we just totally weren't in the game at all from the kick-off."
The Bulls simply had no answers until second-rower Rob Mason crossed for their only try of the game in the 74th minute.
That required a bit of luck after halfback Keirran Cochrane's kick hit the crossbar.
"I don't think they gave up; Port were just too good through the middle and out wide they had some classy backs," Bridge said.
"It was just the fitness told in the end."
Meanwhile, Forster-Tuncurry Hawks defeated Port Macquarie Sharks 46-26 at Harry Elliot Oval on Sunday.
It means Port City jump their cross-town rivals into fifth spot with one round remaining.
Port City Breakers 74 (Taj O'Brien 3, Cody Robbins 3, Ricky Arnell 3, Dane Perry 2, Ant Cowan, Matt Burge, Trae Clarke, Ethan Hyde tries. Ant Cowan 8/15 goals) defeated Taree City 6 (Rob Mason try, Keirran Cochrane goal)
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