Panthers clawed at by eager Dogs, Bay Tigers

Jacob McMaster - Bega District News

The Candelo-Bemboka Panthers suffered demoralising losses to the Batemans Bay Tigers on Sunday. 

For the first time in Group 16 the two sister clubs also met in league-tag as the Pink Panthers faced off against the Hot Doggies in drizzly conditions. 

A fiery encounter saw the Hot Doggies coming away with a 16-4 win, which officials said didn’t reflect the quality of play on the day. 

“CBU showed a lot of promise holding possession of the ball and attacking for the first ten minutes,” a spokeswoman for the club said. 

“That resulted in the ‘old girl’ Leonie Balcomb scoring the opener in the corner.”

The spokeswoman said the Hot Doggies fought back hard as they always do with captain Lauren Kidd peppering the defensive line with attacking runs to score a try in reply. 

Emma Irvin and Hayley Basele were making excellent ground through the ruck for the Pink Panthers, while debutant Nikki Perry was putting on a good show out of dummy half. 

Late into the second half the Hot Doggies continued their assaults with some line breaks on the fringes by Ebony and Tiarne Pointon to add the extra tries. 

“With no more than a 10-minute break, the CBU girls were back on the field to take on the Bay Tigers, who fronted a fit and fast team” the spokeswoman said. 

She said it took the Pink Panthers some time to react in their first encounter with the visiting northern team, which unfortunately allowed the Bay an early breakaway try. 

“This brought out the aggression from Chloe Dunning and Kelly Wheatley, who attacked the ball and resulted in Dunning going in for a self-assisted try right under the goal posts,” the spokeswoman said. 

The Bay made a number of breaks late into the piece, but fullback Sharnie Long stopped nine out of 10 efforts, but a single late try saw the visitors slinking to a 10-8 lead. 

The reserve grade clash was gritty and rough, but the Bay was massively reformed from the side that lost convincingly to Bega and capitalised in the slippery conditions, winning 40-14. 

Handling errors were ever-present, but the visiting Tigers appeared to respond better on the day and punished the left fringes with scything runs.

Some big hits from Heywood Fraser kept the Tigers on their toes, but the Panthers struggled to put any attacking strings together and couldn’t respond on the scoreboard. 

Jake McDonald and Brock Ringland had some solid runs, but lacked support to break through the Tigers’ wall.




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