FULLBACK Matt Bridge celebrated his first full game of rugby union by running in three tries in a player of the match performance as Manning Ratz trounced Gloucester 40-7 in the Lower North Coast fixture played at Gloucester.
However, Ratz coach Jake Maurirere was concerned at the penalty count that favoured the Cockies by an astounding 29-5. Three Ratz players also received yellow cards for repeated infringements.
Maurirere wasn't critical of the referee. He was more worried that his players - many newcomers to rugby this year - aren't schooled in the fundamentals of the game.
"We conceded a lot of penalties for offside and that's something we will have to work on at training this week,'' Maurirere said.
"Obviously we can't continue to give away that many penalties.''
Maurirere said the match was similar to the previous week against Barbarian Hogs.
"We were clinical in the first half and we led 26-0 at halftime,'' he said.
"But a few of the players went to sleep in the second half.''
Maurirere conceded that conditions were difficult, with steady rain falling throughout the contest.
Bridge, a former rugby league representative, played off the bench in the clash against the Barbarians in his rugby debut. He had his first game in the starting 15 against the Cockies and looked at ease in the code.
"Rugby suits his style of play, especially in broken play,'' Maurirere said.
However, he said the forwards laid the platform for the backs, particularly in the first half.
The Ratz will face up to Wallamba next Saturday at Nabiac and Maurirere said this would be a big test for his side. The Bulls have two wins from three matches this season.
Wallamba ran in four tries to beat Barbarian Hogs 20-5 while Wauchope accounted for Old Bar 44-8.
Gloucester held off a spirited fightback from the Ratz in the woman's 10 game. The home side won 27-20 after leading 20-0 at one stage.
Skipper Jess Maher ran hard for the Ratz.
Wauchope raced past Old Bar 55-10 in the other women's 10s game.
In other round four games this Saturday Wauchope Thunder will host Gloucester while Barbarian Hogs will be at home to the Old Bar Clams.