The Pambula Panthers could be in for a fast and bruising challenge when they host the Tathra Sea Eagles this weekend.
Now twice-bitten by the Narooma Lions in narrow results, the Sea Eagles will be looking to re-assert themselves on the competition and the Panthers will find themselves the target of that agression and drive this weekend.
However, it could be prove to be another titanic clash as the Panthers are showing the degree of form that saw them win three straight premierships.
The Pambula club sits atop the competition table with just one loss and handing Narooma their only loss to date, but holding sway over the Lions on for and against.
So the Eagles will need to match speed and intensity once more as they look to claw back a hold on a top two spot.
Captain Luke Taylor says the big grounds like the Pambula Sporting Complex play into the hands of the Sea Eagles; they’re fit, fast and they like to move around the space.
Pambula are just as fast, but focus a bit more on their kicking game with a good hustle through the ruck before launching the ball forward to the waiting grips of the tall front men like Jake Taylor.
Saturday’s scrap will likely be fought and won in the middle with a big effort expected from the rucks and the quick flankers from both squads.
The earlier ladies showdown should also be hotly contested with the Eaglettes edging out the Panthers on the ladder as both eye off the hunt against the Eden Whalers.
The Eaglettes boast the best defensive display of any women’s team in the league and will be buoyed by the nationals selection of flanker Tarni Evans.
Madi Whatman will prove the danger player in the middle for the Panthers – especially with a long range boot at goals or to her forwards, but the Sea Eaglettes have a number of talented mids and they will aim to contain her and push play back to their own attacking half.
Keep an eye out for Sam Crowley and Cymmon Parker to make their presence felt in the contest.
Both games will go ahead at the Pambula Sporting Complex on Saturday with ladies to go ahead from 1.10pm and seniors from 2.30pm.
Meanwhile, the Bega Bombers ladies will host the Bermagui Breakers at Roy Howard Oval on Saturday with play from 11.50am.
The Bombers have their first goals on the board and are gaining confidence with every outing they contest.