Sawtell smash forward

THE Sawtell machine clicked into gear yesterday as they ran in 11 tries to dismantle Macleay Valley 54-16 and move into second place on the Group 2 table.

Dean McLaughlin was the main beneficiary of the strong platform provided by the Sawtell forwards as he grabbed himself a hat-trick.

While the winger along with regular try scorer Mark Pledger and the competition’s leading point scorer Nathan Davies again found themselves on the score sheet plenty of times, injured captain-coach Rohan Loudon said that it was the forwards who were the stars of the day.

“Everyone did their bit today, we controlled the football and the forwards did a great job,” Loudon said.

Prop Jeremy Wood was a late withdrawal for Sawtell but Loudon said new recruit Greg Connell filled in ably proving why the club lured him away from the Hunter Valley.

Macleay Valley coach Adam McMurray admitted that the reigning premiers are hard to stop once they start playing the way the Panthers prefer.

“When they get a quick play ball and win in the ruck they get a really quick roll-on and you’re on the back foot,” McMurray said. “They’re hard to stop when that happens.”

The late withdrawals of forwards Coby Meehan and Grant Schubert didn’t help the Mustangs’ cause.

But McMurray was quick to add that even if the pair did play it might not have made much difference as he believes at times the Mustangs were their own worst enemy.

“We didn’t complete our sets basically,” he said.



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