Panthers Skin Sharks In Home Win

Long striding Damian Irvine turned in a superb captain's knock for Sawtell against Port Sharks.
Long striding Damian Irvine turned in a superb captain's knock for Sawtell against Port Sharks. Rob Wright/ Coffs Coast Advocate

FEW problems were experienced by Sawtell in their 34-10 disposal of Port Macquarie at Rex Hardaker Oval today.

The visiting Sharks faced an uphill battle before the commencement when Group 2 representative front-rower Kurt Molony was a late withdrawal, along with inspirational skipper Michael Bright.

They supplemented the side with four youngsters who had already completed a full under-18 match and while they battled on bravely, the experienced Panthers were too classy and never in danger of losing.

Victorious co-coach Damian Irvine was a tower of strength in the front line of battle and said the team was still evolving.

"We're still working on a bit of stuff and execution in certain areas still needs some detail," he said.

"It's happening bit by bit but I'm pleased we are getting there."

Sawtell opened the scoring against the run of play when Port prop Danny Graham had an uncustomary brain snap, popping a ball into the waiting arms of rival hooker Nick English who promptly turned on his heel and scooted 80 metres to the opposite end of the park.

The Sharks hit back immediately but the next two crossings by the home side ensured they were destined to be in catch-up mode for the rest of the afternoon.

The Panthers led 18-10 at the break and the refreshed Sharks scrambled hard as the second period got underway to give the impression they might still make a race of it.

But a try to Warren Jarrett broke their hearts and while the towel was never thrown in, Sawtell remained firmly in control.

One of the features of the game was Sharks coach Anthony Fenton's handling of interchanges.

He waited until the 58th minute to make his first player swap by sending out Jamahl Tobey to hold down a wing spot and made just one more change before 80 minutes had expired.

"It's unusual I suppose but they kept giving everything and nobody wanted to come off for a break," he said.

"The boys had a crack and really played well but we lacked depth on the day.

"I'm grateful to the boys sitting on the bench who put their hands up to play but they lacked experience and I didn't want to send them out if it wasn't necessary."

Apart from Irvine, the Panthers were well served by speedy lock Dean McLaughlan, evergreen centre Nathan 'Shorty' Davies and rookie prop Josh Lewis who was eventually replaced late in the game after a nasty head clash opened up his forehead.

However, nuggetty pivot Troy Robinson turned in another polished performance, always knowing the right part of the field where he could turn up unannounced and cause maximum damage to the opponents.

"Being in front at half time, I didn't think we would lose but you still have to turn up and complete your sets so the other mobs don't come back and surprise you," Irvine said.

"Blokes can get carried away by wanting to score tries and we were guilty of that again.

"There's a break next weekend and that's something we'll address before we come back to play in two weeks."

SAWTELL PANTHERS 34 (J Fogarty 2 N English D McLaughlin D Quinn W Jarrett tries D Russell 5 goals) bt PORT MACQUARIE SHARKS 10 (D Holten T Nelson tries E McKenna goal)

Scrums: Port Macquarie 14-4

Penalties: Port Macquarie 8-5

Errors: Port Macquarie 11, Sawtell 8

At Rex Hardaker Oval, Toormina

Referee: Jason Townley

Reserve grade: Port Macquarie bt Sawtell 24-18

Under 18s: Port Macquarie bt Sawtell 34-30

Old pine shines the light on Waterfall Way

LET THERE BE LIGHT: Bellingen Lions members Eddie Siladi, Spot Swales and Richard Everingham.

Bellingen is going to have a 41-metre high Christmas Tree

So long graffiti, residents roll up their sleeves

GRAFFITI BUSTERS: (from left) Felicity Box, David Box, Garth Shipperlee, Garry Keehn, Louise Morris and Rob Anderson.

Graffiti-busters are back to clean up your town.

Police make outlaw motorcycle gang arrests on Coffs Coast

ARRESTS MADE: Four people were arrested and charged on the Coffs Coast for drug possession.

Four people charged as police target outlaw motorcycle club property

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Survive and support this Pink Ribbon Day

Denise Bass, Kathy Clough and cancer survivor Dorothy Lockart at Pink Ribbon Day stall in the mall.

Cancer survivors often say the diagnosis is the toughest part.

Blooming Woolgoolga

Handmade flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

HANDMADE flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.