VETERAN?SDAY

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

WHEN father time catches up with you, the senses are supposed to dull, reflexes should slow as well as your legs and fatigue starts to set in a lot earlier.

Trouble is, no-one has told any of the veterans at Macksville this theory.

If players the likes of Max McGovern, Nev and Reg Donovan as well as Rob and Gary Jarrett were a carton of milk, you'd toss them out for being past their use by date. Well thank god the people of Macksville obviously believe in holding onto their milk bottles rather than throwing them into the yellow recycling bin.

The free flowing razzle dazzle football that lead Macksville to four consecutive premierships is still evident as offloads, flick passes and sometimes the outright unorthodox came out yesterday, with Nev Donovan running the show from halfback all the while.

No-one at the Sea Eagles is happier that the experienced players are still running around than new captain-coach Max McGovern.

"Coaching is pretty easy with these fellas around, I just try to teach them a few things" he said modestly.

"Have a look at us, we're not really fit but we can score some points, that's our good thing but our defence is pretty shocking but we'll be right.

"We've won our first two in a row and that's not normal for Macksville."

Make no mistakes about it, Macksville can still score points and plenty of them.

Seven times Sawtell were required to stand on their tryline as Cameron Blair made a conversion attempt.

The simple Sea Eagles attitude of 'score as many points as you want, we'll just score more' is still to the fore.

To be fair, as impressive as Macksville were yesterday at Rex Hardaker Oval, Sawtell were equally as bad.

After scoring a try from their very first set, the Panthers lacked enthusiasm and it showed with missed tackles, poor kick chasing and slow paced football when in attack that played right into the hands of their older opponents.

When Panthers captain-coach Craig Wallace read the riot act to his forlorn players after the game, he was so angry that he looked like a bulldog that had just swallowed a wasp.

And he gave it to his boys with both barrels.

"We were terrible, it was probably the worst game we played in three years," a fuming Wallace said.

"Rather than whinge and criticise and say this and say that, you've got to roll the sleeves up and do the job."

Wallace says the attitude has got to change at Panther Park and the turnaround has to come on weekdays, not just game day.

"It starts at training, it's been a bit casual I think the last few weeks, we've been training hard but the attitude has been very casual and I've had enough of it," he said.

"It's either roll the sleeves up or go and introduce yourself to the reserve grade coach.

"I want blokes that are willing to have a go."

Macksville's fitness is less than the required standard and Sawtell's coach is a seething cauldron of anger.

Looks like there's two teams that are going to be working hard on the track this week.



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