Lonergan steps up for Panthers


As one coach faces rehabilitation on his shattered shoulder, another has stepped up in time for the Middlemount Panthers’ Round 4 Central Highlands Rugby League at home tomorrow night.

The Panthers had engaged a quartet of player-coaches to steer them through this season, and started promisingly with two wins followed by last weekend’s 40-18 loss to Springsure.

Former juniors coach Scott Lonergan has taken on the top job, partly off-setting the season-ending injury to co-coach Ryan Hansell who smashed his collar bone in five places in Round 2 against Dysart.

Hansell will remain in an off-field role, starting with the second-placed Panthers’ date with Bluff Rabbitohs (fifth).

“Last weekend’s loss against Springsure was the shake-up we needed … We are working on discipline and will need to be switched on for the home game match against Bluff,” Hansell said.

The Panthers will be minus lock Leigh Coghill and centre Sam Creedon, but will have utility, and CHRL leading tryscorer Michael Dyson back after missing the Springsure game due to illness.

It will also be Panthers prop Joe Taotofi’s first meeting against the club he helped to last year’s premiership.


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