Panthers axe Axemen
THE old fashioned brown and white jerseys Sawtell wore yesterday aren’t that pretty and Panthers coach Rohan Loudon has to admit that the way his team won against Orara Valley wasn’t that attractive either.
“It’s a good sign that we got a win but we were ugly,” Loudon said.
The Panthers won 16-4 but after an hour of play both sides had scored only the one try and the Axemen looked like they could topple the reigning premiers.
Loudon wasn’t surprised with the scoreline though as he said Orara Valley’s defence was outstanding.
“They (Orara Valley) won the ruck today and that’s something that we’ve got to do a lot of work on,” he said.
“Their A’s and B’s are really good at getting off the line and getting some line speed into us and we didn’t have enough runners either side to get away from that.”
It wasn’t until the experience of Ryan Prevett combined with some tiring Axemen defence that Sawtell sewed up the two premiership points through quick tries to Nathan Davies and Mark Pledger.
Loudon thought that his team frittered away opportunities even though they had good field position.
“We just panicked a bit,” the sidelined coach said.
“We need to slow down and take a deep breath and look back toward the middle.
“We didn’t even give ourselves a chance of setting up and going through the middle. Even when we did that we were playing to the short bloke instead of playing behind but there’s plenty there to work with.”
The loss means that Orara Valley has won only one of their opening four matches for the season.
Axemen leader Darryl Fisher admits that it is a frustrating start to the season but he still has high hopes for his squad.
“You look at the results and there’s not much in those three losses, so it’s a shame,” Fisher said.
“We’re certainly not panicking yet but I think we need to improve pretty quickly, obviously.
“Frustrated, yes, but not angry.”