Panthers on hunt, but Eels slippery

Quick step: Pink Panthers half Caitlin Johnson puts on a burst against the Eden Tigerettes late in the 2016 season.
Quick step: Pink Panthers half Caitlin Johnson puts on a burst against the Eden Tigerettes late in the 2016 season.

The Candelo-Bemboka Pink Panthers will be ready for a well-fought match against Eden this Sunday. 

Pink Panthers spokeswoman Caitlin Johnson said it was always a difficult match to take on the Eden Tigerettes, but the club was looking forward to the challenge.

“Kelly Wheatley is certainly impressing at training and could be a good strike player for us,” Johnson said.

Mark Henry is coaching the Panthers and looking to keep up talk on the field and groundwork skills. 

The Panthers are improving at their expansive footy and opening up more chances for a quick step and a line break. 

Johnson said the Panthers would be “looking to make those opportunities for ourselves” and get a good score on the board. 

She said Eden had some quick flankers and the Panthers would look to counter them and control play through the ruck. 

The Panthers play the Tigerettes at noon at Cobargo’s Narira Park. 

Candelo-Bemboka president Jake McDonald says Sunday’s game against the Bermagui-Cobargo Eels will be great test for his club. 

“This will likely be our first real test for the season as the Eels have such a similar mix of youth and experience to our roster,” McDonald said. 

The similarities extend even further still with a good mix of size in the respective front lines and zippy outside backs ready to take advantage of any gaps. 

McDonald conceded the left-hand attack of the Eels was strong and said his team would have to be vigilant. 

“Our guys will certainly have to be on their game for us to match it with them there,” he said. 

However, he said Bevan Taylor had been training the house down and finding his feet well at the club so could be a danger player come Sunday’s showdown. 

Dan Smith has been a standout for the Eels with a stellar display in round two scoring a series of tries as well as slotting the goals. 

He’ll be backed up by Tas Neil, Matt McGovern and Tim Lambert to gain metres up the middle. 

Meanwhile, the Panthers will look to Taylor and his brother Jory for some good runs, while Nathan Moon and Adam Blacka set up plays on the edges of the ruck. 

The Eels and Panthers play at 1pm at Narira Park, Cobargo.