Panthers back in good books
By GREG WHITE
SAWTELL 24 d MACLEAY VALLEY 10
THE Sawtell Panthers are back in the good books of captain-coach Craig Wallace after a lift in form carried them to a 24-10 win over Macleay Valley at Verge Street Stadium.
Wallace blasted his players for the lethargy shown in last weeks loss to Macksville but this week was full of praise for their commitment and attention to detail.
"There was better attitude and a desire to win and that's all I'm asking," he said.
"Defensively they knuckled down to the job and while there's still work to do, I'm pleased with how they went.
"Things got a bit scrappy in the second half but they stuck it out well."
Mustangs boss Mark Morrison was disappointed at a third straight loss but did have some cause for satisfaction.
"It might sound strange but I think we're turning the corner," he said.
"What happened at Coramba was the low point and we're on the way back.
"Sure, we did some dumb things but in general, the good attitude was there and they played a better standard of footy."
What didn't please Morrison was another lopsided penalty count against his Mustangs.
"They're not bad boys and I'm at a loss at what to do," he said.
"Four times we were penalised on the fifth tackle and Sawty scored on the back of two of those and it's something that has to be addressed."
Wallace said the win is a confidence-booster for the difficult assignments coming up.
"We've got tough matches against Orara, Bello and Nambucca in consecutive weeks and it will help to be in a winning frame of mind," he noted.
Meanwhile, David Pickvance returned to his mercurial best to score a hat-trick as Macksville stormed to the top of the Group 2 table with a 60-16 victory over the Bellinger Valley.
In a game that the Sea Eagles were always expected to win and win well, the form of another member of the Jarrett production line pleased club insiders.
George Jarrett had already played well earlier in the day in the under-18s match and when he was asked to step up to first grade, the youngter didn't disappoint by involving himself in many of the attacking raids as well as a scoring a try himself.