Magpies captain-coach Nathan Benney chasing finals berth

Nathan Benney.
Nathan Benney.

Berry-Shoalhaven Heads captain-coach Nathan Benney spoke of his side's hunger for a finals berth after the Magpies collected their fourth straight win on Saturday.

After almost fading from top five contention a month ago, the Magpies have soared back into the playoffs picture.

Their resurgence gained speed with Saturday's 58-22 road win over Port Kembla.

"We knew that prior to stringing these wins together that if we were going to turn it around that it certainly had to be soon, so to get four in a row, it's really put us back in a position to make the semi-finals," Benney said.

"You can certainly sense a bit of a different feel among the guys, particularly because we've beaten a couple of the stronger sides. They really believe we can do it now.

"Now that we've got a few wins, some of the guys' confidence is up and they certainly believe we can be strong contenders.

"Hopefully we can continue to play good football and have a strong run into the semis."

The Magpies were locked at 12-all with Port late in the first half.

They scored moments before half-time for an 18-12 lead and were never seriously threatened in the second half.

"It wasn't one of our stronger performances," Benney said.

"It was good to get the win but we turned over a lot of ball and we'll have to be a lot better to beat some of these other sides.''

Benney believes his youthful side has blossomed in the past four games.

"We've got a really young group of guys, and early on I saw some glimpses of brilliance from them, but we really struggled to play an 80-minute game," he said.

"We got close to a few sides and kind of threw a few games away in the last 10 or 20 minutes. I just knew if we could start putting in 80-minute performances that we would certainly start to string some wins together.

"We just want to do our job and keep winning - that way when it comes to the end of the season we're not relying on results with other teams.

"The expectation now is that we should win, that close enough isn't good enough. That's where our mentality is at the moment, so that's good.

"At the start of the season we were carrying a fair few injuries and we were fairly close in some games, so it'll be good to play those sides now that we're at full strength."

Reigning premiers Gerringong hammered another nail in Milton-Ulladulla's coffin with a 38-10 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday night at Mollymook Oval.


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