Sea Eagles, Panthers on the hunt

• Panther David Inskip charges headlong at the Tathra Sea Eagles during a deluge of rain recently.
• Panther David Inskip charges headlong at the Tathra Sea Eagles during a deluge of rain recently.

TATHRA playing-coach Willie McDonald said the Sea Eagles combinations are coming together and Sunday could be the day to win over Eden. 

Last week, the Sea Eagles met the Narooma Devils, but succumbed to a second half score blowout. 

“We’re improving every game, we were kind of in it for 60 minutes of the game,” McDonald said. 

Sunday will see the Sea Eagles at home to the Eden Tigers and the club still has aspirations of reaching the finals. 

“You only need a few wins to sneak in to the semi-finals.

“We are still pretty hopeful.”

The Tigers are refreshed after their clash with the Bega Roosters was canned, but the Sea Eagles are fighting fit. 

“There have been a few niggling little injuries, but nothing major and I will have a full team to pick from this weekend,” McDonald said. 

Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles are on the up, developing new strategies each week. 

This weekend, McDonald said he has some ideas to counter Eden’s big forward pack. 

“We’ve only ever seen them in the pre-season and they had a few big boys then. 

“But we’ve got a few ideas we can try.”

“We’ll just be worrying about us and not worry what they’re doing too much,” he said. 

Despite being winless on the ladder, McDonald said the Sea Eagles have plenty of fire to get over the Tigers. 

“We would love to put a few wins under our belt. 

“We have a lot to prove.”

Meanwhile, the Sea Eaglettes are still in the hunt for their first win this season. 

Tathra met the Eden Tigerettes in the pre-season competition and suffered a comprehensive 80-0 loss in their debut on the field. 

However, Tathra is far more developed at this stage in the season and will prove a much stronger challenge for the visiting Eden team.

The league tag kicks off at noon at the Tathra Beach Country Club ground on Sunday to open a big day of action. 

McDonald said a vocal home crowd could be enough to tip things in the Eagles’ favour. 

“Hopefully we can get a few fans down there and really make a day of it,” he said. 

THE Candelo-Bemboka Panthers are hunting a fish-feed on Sunday at Colombo Park, Bemboka. 

Taking on the Moruya Sharks is never a small order, but head coach Matt Inskip said his squad is ready and raring to go. 

“We’ve had two weeks off so everyone is fresh and we’re eager to get in to some footy,” Inskip said. 

“I haven’t seen Moruya play, but they beat Cooma [at Cooma], which is a fair effort.

“It will just be another good tough game.”

With solid support and a big bench to draw from, injury worries for the Panthers have been minimal. 

But the few they have suffered are looking at a good window to recover. 

“It’s a bit of a catch 22, we’ve got the bye next week so there is the possibility of giving them a full month to rest up.”

Inskip is not only looking forward to the spectacle of two big forward packs hitting up the mid hard, but matching Moruya for speed out wide. 

“Moruya are a good side right across the park, they have a lot of agility out wide.

“If it’s a nice day and good weather there will be a bit of expansive footy.

“So there should be some good clashes out wide and in the centre,” he said. 

A highlight in the Panthers’ forward pack is new recruit Ian “toad” Heffernan. 

“He’s helping us out when we’re short, we’ve had him in a couple of games and he’s improved with each.”

The Panthers have another bye after this round, but will be at home again the following weekend. 

“To have two in a row at home will be nice.

“Everyone is keen to turn up on your home ground and the guys are keen for a game of footy. 

“Hopefully we could get a roll on into the finals.”

The support for the returning club has also been a boon for current members, who are enjoying cheers from the crowd. 

“Our support has been huge, I am expecting a big day out there on Sunday,” Inskip said.  

“We’ve got a core group of fans so I would expect we’ll see them again out there.”

The Pambula-Merimbula Bullpups will open proceedings against the Sharks  at 10.30am at Colombo Park. 

Then, the Hotdoggies face off with the Sharkettes from noon. 

The Panthers’ game will be the headline act at 1pm on Sunday. 


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