Brothers in arms lead way for Sawtell
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
USUALLY the points for the best player on the ground go to the busiest man on the field throughout the contest but yesterday's clash at Rex Hardaker Oval had to buck that trend because the busiest man was referee David Dunn. Dunn was forced to constantly blow his whistle all afternoon but it wasn't his fault, it was just a simple case of both Sawtell and Nambucca Heads players consistently coughing up the ball. In the end it was the fact that the Roosters gave up the ball at crucial times or in vulnerable field position that meant Sawtell ran away with a 32-10 victory. Panthers captain-coach Craig Wallace was pleased to walk away with the two points but he admitted the performance lacked the polish that supporters have come to expect from the '2452 Crew'. "When you get to third and fourth tackle and you drop the pill out wide or something silly happens, it's a bit frustrating," he admitted. "It's only going to come, we're playing with a lot of new blokes and things so it will happen but it's going to take time to gel a new combination together." When things did work for the Panthers, it usually
happened when Adam Loudon had the ball in his hands. The five-eighth often left the Roosters defence in two minds as to whether he was going to run or pass the ball, and when the pass did come, it was to a variety of options. It's as if Sawtell are are more confident when the ball is in hands and they suddenly spring into action and create multiple options. Loudon also seems to be enjoying the fact that his brother Mick is playing with him in a halves combination that looks set to create some havoc when they find their rhythm. "Mick gels with Adam and Adam is a very good footballer and I think it's only benefitting him having his brother inside of him," Wallace added. "Young Ian Watson's playing very well out wide, we've got Brent Cullen, it's just a good combination we've got going at the moment. Hopefully we can continue that way and stay injury free, that's the key." Nambucca Heads were behind the eight ball even before the kickoff as Willie Baker was a late withdrawal due to an injury received during the Group match on Saturday and prop Kale Burton seemed a touch flat after playing in the same game. Roosters coach Geoff Batten was happy with how stand in halfback Farron Greenup-Davis went but admitted that the spark that is present when he's paired up with Baker just wasn't quite there at Rex Hardaker Oval yesterday. "I was very happy with how Farron played, it was probably a little different to the way that Willie and I play," he said.
SAWTELL PANTHERS 32 (Ian Watson 2, Damian Irvine 2, Mick Loudon, Nathan Davies tries; Daniel Tempest 4 goals) d NAMBUCCA HEADS ROOSTERS 10 (Steven Spencer, Luke Heighington tries; Mick Ronan goal). Scrums: Nambucca Heads 11-9. Penalties: Sawtell 8-5. Errors: Sawtell 12, Nambucca Heads 10. Reserve Grade: Sawtell d Nambucca Heads 24-20. Under-18s: Nambucca Heads d Sawtell 40