HOME GAME: The Sawtell Panthers will host the elimination final next weekend after beating the Orara Valley Axemen on Saturday.
HOME GAME: The Sawtell Panthers will host the elimination final next weekend after beating the Orara Valley Axemen on Saturday.

Panthers maul Axemen to claim home final

RUGBY LEAGUE: Sawtell Panthers will host either Woolgoolga or Macksville next weekend after putting the Orara Valley Axemen to the sword on Saturday.

Needing a big win to secure a home elimination final, the Panthers delivered in perfect conditions at Rex Hardaker Oval.

Losing a player to the sin bin early, the Panthers were able to weather the storm before opening the scoring through winger Kalani Morris.

Soon after fellow winger Nathan Cunningham extended Sawtell's lead after a slick sideline-to-sideline play stripped away Orara's left side's numbers.

From there the game began to open up for Sawtell danger man Latrell Hampton, with the livewire pivot setting up two tries in the space of three minutes.

For the first Hampton went straight through a large hole in Orara's defence 70m from home, drew fullback Liam Dunn and passed for second rower Jordan Haywood to score.

On the set from the kick off, Hampton once again made a linebreak from his own half before finding captain Tyran Stevenson to score under the posts and create a 20-0 buffer.

A scuffle late in the first half saw a player from each side sent to the sin bin before a try to Sawtell prop Jedd Mitchell handed his side a 26-0 lead at the break.

The Panthers didn't show any signs of slowing down in the second half, with the team racing away to win 46-0.

All eyes are now on the clash this afternoon between the Woolgoolga Seahorses and Macksville Sea Eagles to see who the Panthers will face in the elimination final.



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