TEENAGE debutante halves led Macquarie Scorpions to an emphatic 34-4 win over Lakes United in the Newcastle Rugby League match at Cahill Oval on Sunday.
Cameron Davies and Floyd Tighe were outstanding for Macquarie, while Sam Abraham, in just his second first-grade game, also impressed.
Macquarie football secretary Stephen Woodbridge said it was the Scorpions' best performance in more than 12 months, and club officials cannot recall a bigger winning margin at Belmont.
"Usually we struggle against Lakes at Cahill Oval and we would have been happy with just getting the two competition points," Woodbridge said.
"But to come away with a win like that was pretty special, especially with two young players in the halves making their first grade debuts."
The win squares the ledger for Macquarie at two wins and two losses after four rounds.
And it gives the team a boost on the eve of back-to-back home matches against Cessnock and Maitland.
Macquarie coach Adam Bettridge said the squad had been "extremely disappointed" to lose 28-16 to Central Newcastle at Lyall Peacock Field in Round 3.
"It was up to the players to respond, and I was very pleased in the way in which they went about that at training during the week and on game day," Bettridge said.
"Our defence against Lakes was outstanding and there was a time during the first half when Lakes had five sets in a row in our quarter and we held them out to go in at halftime leading 24-nil.
"During the halftime break we spoke about maintaining the same level of intensity and to defend our line, and we certainly did that with Lakes only scoring from an intercept in the last minute of the game."
Bettridge said it was a special day for the club to have three players in Davies, Tighe and Abraham - who are eligible to play under 19s - make such an impression in the top grade.
"I thought Cam and Floyd were fantastic for us," Bettridge said.
"They controlled the play beautifully and both have bright futures.
"What we need now is for the squad to continue on with that form and give our wonderful supporters a home win against Cessnock this weekend, and follow that up with a win at home the following week against Maitland."
Lyall Peacock Field, at Toronto, was once a fortress for Macquarie. But that has changed in recent times.
"We have not won at home since Round 3 in 2018, and that is not good enough. Our supporters deserve to see a win at home," Bettridge said.
Lyall Peacock Field will also be the venue for the NSW Combined High School Rugby League trials from Monday, May 27, to Wednesday, May 29, Woodbridge said.
Games will kick off at 10am each day.