Shute Shield: Norths slow out of the blocks but overhaul stoic Penrith

By MARK CASHMAN

Northern Suburbs coach Earl Va’a says his side needs to get out of the blocks quicker if they are to maintain their momentum after the Shoremen’s 53-3 win over Penrith on Saturday.

It took some time for Norths to get the upper hand on a Penrith side that was making its return to Shute Shield competition after a three year break.

They were solid at scrum time which is probably not surprising given that ‘Bubba’ Ryan is their scrum coach and also put on some good hits in defence, a given in any side mentored by John Muggleton.

The Emus defence forced a few turnovers and it took until late in the first half for Norths to get any sort of gap on the visitors.

“Yeah we were slow out of the blocks and missed a number of scoring opportunities in that first half,” Va’a said.

“Penrith did well to keep the pressure on us and they got some pay from their efforts but the second half reflected what we are trying to build here.”