PORT Macquarie Sharks, the form side of the Group 3 rugby league competition in 2015, have locked in the first grand final spot in a fortnight's time.
The Sharks were far too good for their cross-town rivals the Port City Breakers at Regional Stadium yesterday, winning 34-12 in a match which had plenty of feeling.
Sharks hooker and the man who's just been announced as the next coach, Joe Cudmore, had a great game for the hosts and minor premiers. He played nigh on 80 minutes and set up some great tries.
The highlight was a brilliant short pass for Scott Grant to crash over next to the sticks.
That was in the shadows of full-time when the Sharks had the match wrapped up.
There was a bit more space on the field at that stage after a scuffle at the other end led to some blokes sitting down.
Tom Dooker was sent from the field, while Kurt Lewis marred the good game he'd had by receiving 10 in the bin.
Sharks coach Matt Shipway was also binned by referee Corey Richardson.
He was incensed over the incident. Shipway grabbed Lewis to try and prevent more punches from being thrown, but there was no-one protecting him.
"I was getting hit from behind by numerous players," he said.
"They've got to get that out of the game. That's what's wrong with footy in the country."
He said the win was "unreal", and Cudmore's performance was the catalyst.
"Joey had an awesome game," Shipway said.
He scored two tries of his own. The other Sharks tries went to Harley Gore, Zac Aylward, Tyrone Nelson, Grant and Danny Graham.
Luke Sprague kicked three goals. Trae Clark and Richie Roberts scored for the Breakers. Captain Adrian Daley converted both.
Breakers coach Ben Sprague said it was the worst game his team had put in all season.
"In the first half, we dropped too many balls and made silly mistakes," he said.
More coverage on the washup from the game in Wednesday's Port News.