Sawtell will be hoping to stop a runaway Nambucca team.
Sawtell will be hoping to stop a runaway Nambucca team. Leigh Jensen

Panthers hungry

SAWTELL will be the next team to try to end Nambucca Heads' winning streak when the two teams go head to head tomorrow at Rex Hardaker Oval.

The Panthers are fresh off a local derby win against Coffs Harbour and are brimming with confidence ahead of their clash with the competition front-runners.

Co-captain-coach Damien Irvine feels his team is ready for a tough contest.

"Nambucca have been the benchmark of the competition this year and Sunday is going to be a real test," Irvine said.

"If we can't beat them at home, we can't do it at all.

"It's the best chance we will have all season to get one over them."

The hard-running forward believes it will be a physical clash.

"The Roosters are a tough side that like to hit hard in defence and get bodies involved," he said.

"Completions will be key and holding on to the ball is something that must be done," Irvine said.

"If we can take advantage of every opportunity which comes out way we will be in good stead, because if we don't, they certainly will."

With victory the Roosters can tie up the minor premiership but coach Garren Stig refuses to get ahead of himself.

"Sawtell will be looking to use the home-ground advantage, so if we're not focused it could be a disappointing result," Stig said yesterday.

"We had one of our better weeks of training this week but there is still room to improve on that front.

"With a few rounds left my focus is managing the players so we are fully fit come finals time."

Kick-off is at 2.15pm.



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