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Understrength Panthers fail to match it with Bushrangers

Brent Tucker has been a consistent performer for Panthers. subIn a strange scheduling, Panthers headed to Cowra last week to take on second placed Bathurst Bushrangers.
Nanjing Night Net

Panthers headed into the game understrength with Corey Rowbotham playing as the only sub.

Panthers were without key defenders Glen Ford (illness), Scott Goodyear (hamstring), and mercurial forwards/midfield Josh Avis (away) and fan favorite Jason Bright (hamstring).

With Ed Wilson a late withdrawal, the midfield was on the back foot from the first bounce.

They started the game linking up well through the back line to the half-forward line.

Brent Tucker, in fine form, toiled hard to work back and help the defence.

Shane Apsey also contributed big possessions to help the forward push through the centre.

But, that it is where the good work stopped. Unaccountability allowed Bathurst’s well skilled team to constantly run off, collecting easy possessions and clean delivery to their forwards.

Nathaniel Dixon had a massive task on a big bodied Bathurst full forward, but worked well to cap his opposition’s outing to four goals.

Chris Dhu also played his shutdown role well, keeping his man to three goals.

The lack of run and representation from the half-forward line made it difficult to produce scoring opportunities. Dylan Morgan was a constant option and sparked some excitement within the ranks, roosting a text book 50 metre set shot to end up with a goal in one of the few highlights from what was a one sided game.

Wade Freeman, who has trained all year, debuted and kicked a superb goal.

Brent Tucker and Brandon Clinton also kicked one apiece.

Craig Chappel played a hard straight line game, smashing packs and offering run.

He worked well with Leyton Nicholson who was in his second game back.

He proved a vital string in the Panthers defence.

The final score saw Parkes (5.6.35) defeated by Bathurst (16.7.103).

Best for Parkes were Curtis Carter, Dylan Morgan, Jake Adams and Brent Tucker.

“It was a tough day for us,” explained coach Craig Chappel.

“With limited to no rotations of the bench, nowhere to rest the midfield, and a lacklustre forward half, it makes it hard.

“There were glimpses of our usual structure throughout the game which shows promise, but we were unable to back it up.

“That will always give a well drilled team plenty of holes to slip through.

“Liam Abbey played a running defensive game with the likes of union convert Dan Wright also offering plenty of outside option.

“We have a number of players still getting their heads around the game, and in cases against teams like Bathurst, our inexperience can be highlighted.

“This being said, assistant coach Jake Adams and I are really happy with the progress these guys have made over a small amount of time.

“Most of them will find themselves in our best 24.

“Jake worked well in the middle as ruck for several quarters before he became a tall rover to run the corridor.

“It is important now that we get back on the training ground and get the numbers there to be able to develop our structure.

“We still need to cement positions for our players running into the tail end of the season.

“It looks likely that we will be playing finals and we will want to field our strongest team with a playbook that we can all operate to.

“We need to get more of our senior heads up to training,” he said.

Tomorrow, the Panthers are at Northparkes Oval taking on Mudgee.

It will likely be a real test for the Panthers and a chance to prove themselves capable of a much higher standard of football.

Mudgee have really stepped up the last month and have recruited some handy players.

“We will not be looking at this game as a walkover,” Chappel added.

“We will need to prepare well and make sure we are switched on and ready to play.

“We have a lot to turn around in a week, but I have faith in our guys to put in big efforts and reap the benefits later,” he said.

Go and see the action which kicks off from 12.45pm tomorrow at Northparkes Oval.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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