New Comets halfback Ben McCarthy is all wrapped up.
New Comets halfback Ben McCarthy is all wrapped up. LEIGH JENSEN

Brothers step up for Panthers

IT was more than a century ago that the Wright brothers became known worldwide as partners in flight but the Sawtell version are indeed partners in pain.

There’s Lance Wright at halfback who asked plenty of questions of the Coffs Harbour defence yesterday and then there’s big prop Logan Wright who has already become a cult hero for Panthers’ supporters in the space of one game.

When the reigning premiers rattled on 16 points in the space of only five minutes mid-way through the second half it was the Wright boys who were in the thick of the action. Lance set-up Josh Bryant for a four-pointer before a barnstorming run by Logan from the resulting kick-off started a tremendous team try that ended with Nathan Davies scoring under the posts to make the score 36-16 and the contest virtually over.

Sawtell captain-coach Rohan Loudon admitted that adding the big New Zealander to the pack alongside Jeremy Wood and Ryan Prevett certainly adds another dimension to the team.

“He’s going to be very handy for us off the bench, he can put a hole through some teams and he’s got good feet and an offload,” Loudon said.

Loudon was pleased with the win but added that it was a sweet and sour performance from the Panthers.

“It’s an easy game if you go forward and complete, you can play off the back of it,” he said. “We scored three tries in a row in the second half to get a good lead then all of a sudden we try and spin it on the second tackle, make a mistake, they score straight away and it’s a game again.

“We’ve got to work on that and cut it out but that was a problem last year too. We need to go more direct early before we start throwing the ball around.”

Coffs Harbour coach Warren Gilkinson was left to lament a performance that could’ve won the game but eventually went down with each error made.

“We didn’t get out of our half in the first 20 minutes in the first half then it took 30 minutes to get out of half in the second half,” Gilkinson said.

“You’re never going to win a football game with all of that dropped ball and it was just fundamental things, schoolkid stuff like getting up and playing the ball properly. It’s frustrating.”

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