Wright gives Bello no break

HURRICANE Sawtell hit Bellingen yesterday with the Panthers’ 66-16 victory blowing the Magpies off the park.

If ever a team engaged in a football contest was destined to hand out lessons in commitment it was this particular line-up from the premiers.

With 11 recognised first graders, including co-captain Rohan Loudon already on the sidelines and the injuries mounting as the afternoon progressed, few expected such total dominance late in the match.

Going hardest at the finish was big prop forward Logan Wright who, after finding out last Thursday his team was short one big bopper up front, postponed an operation on a broken arm and played on regardless.

Bellingen also suffered badly in the casualty department but, really, there was no comparison between the sides.

“Last week (against Macksville) was a big confidence booster for us and today we really went on with it in the second half,” Loudon said.

“Once we started completing and got them on the fringes where I thought they’d be vulnerable, it all started happening.

“I’m still not getting carried away as there are still plenty of things to fix and we’ll talk about those at training on Tuesday night.

“Myself ... I could be back next round.”

The sides stuck to each other until just short of intermission when the home side lost diminutive fullback Tyson Morris.

In the opening stages, the little custodian had provided enormous go-forward but with him missing, the Magpies seemed to lose confidence.

“We weren’t playing the best but we were still in the game but when we came back, it became under-7s playing A-graders,” Bellingen coach Josh White commented.

Before the game commenced there were questions asked about the level of commitment when players from the home side arrived in dribs and drabs and the sign-on sheet was still incomplete 15 minutes from kick-off.

But if that was a problem, White wasn’t going there.

“We lost Tyson and Luke Rose and Brad Hart, one after the other, so we had four or five of our best on the bench at once, he said.

“They tried their best but there was nothing left when they had to dig deep at the end.”

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