McGree: F3 Derby rout can spur Jets to finals glory

Hat-trick hero Riley McGree believes Saturday night’s F3 Derby drubbing of Central Coast Mariners could be the super-charge his side needs ahead of the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.

The Jets tore the Mariners to shreds in Gosford, with McGree’s stunning treble helping Ernie Merrick’s troops to a record-breaking 8-2 win.

It was a timely return to form for the Hunter club, who had lost three games in a row prior to their derby rout.

And McGree hopes the eye-catching result and performance will be a turning point for the club in their first finals appearance in eight years.

"Yeah it’s very good [result for us]," the 19-year-old told Fox Sports after the match.

"We needed a confidence booster.

“We needed to get a result here leading into the semi and we did."

Newcastle Jets celebrate

The match was effectively over inside 25 minutes as the Jets raced to a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Joey Champness, Roy O’Donovan and McGree.

And they went on with it after the break, with McGree completing his first career hat-trick, while O’Donovan, Lachlan Jackson and Dimitri Petratos also got on the scoresheet.

"I think it was a great result by the lads but there are definitely things to work on as well,” McGree conceded.

"I think defensively and the decision-making in attack - too many cheap giveaways.

“We could have created many chances and scored many more goals I believe."

The Jets get next weekend off before a home grand final qualifier at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday, April 27.

Andrew Hoole; Joey Champness