At first glance Gunnedah's 57-7 win over Moree depicts a dominant performance.
But scorelines can be deceptive.
At half-time at Gunnedah on Saturday, Red Devils coach Dan Martin would have been happy just to get a win. Ahead by just three points at the break they had a battle on their hands.
They could have, he pointed out, "very easily" been behind with the Bulls pressing their line late in the half.
"The boys had to show a lot of ticker and defend well," he said.
But after "a few words" at the break, Martin quipping that the players "did know they were on notice", they turned things around dramatically in the second half, running in 47 unanswered points in about 25 minutes.
"There were a few things we had to change," Martin said.
"The line running from some of the players was incorrect for the Moree side. We just chose wrong lines in the first half and that allowed Moree to slow us down and we didn't get that quick ball."
They also spilt the ball "two or three times" in the red zone.
It took them until midway through the second half to score their first points but they flowed after that, the tries coming at about four minute intervals.
"Once they started running those different lines everything became a lot easier and we were able to go back-to-back really quickly," Martin said.
"There was some good football played in the last 35 minutes of the second half."
He remarked that a lot of people commented on how clinical their second half was.
The perfectionist in Martin wouldn't go that far but he was "very pleased".
"If we can put two halves of football together like that I'll be impressed," he said.
The set piece, the scrum especially, was a real weapon for them and really set the platform, and with the quick ball they were able to secure the outside backs cashed in with winger Darrell Morrison scoring a hat-trick and fullback James Perrett a double.
"A few pieces of the puzzle started to come together in the second half," Martin said.
He said the way they hung in was really pleasing.
"We hadn't been in that situation where we had really been under a lot of pressure this year," he said.
"The boys really responded."
But it was a reminder that they are "nowhere near a finished product", Martin also acutely aware that the "heavyweights are still to come".
They are still to play Narrabri, Pirates or Inverell, who along with them make up the top four.
They have Inverell this Saturday, which won't be an easy assignment. The Highlanders at home have been a bit of a bogey game for the Red Devils in recent years.
Martin said breakaway Sean Latham was "everywhere" for them. Perrett was also "strong again" along with Will Burke and Tim McDermott.
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