Panthers won 34 - 5 at home to Bainbridge RFC tourists from Ulster - Match report thanks to Richard Moffat.
Thank you to all those players that turned out for the hybrid Wanderers/Panthers team yesterday against Banbridge RFC, a touring side from Ireland, who all fell over from the k.o. to allow Neil Graham to run in an easy try and convert, but once they decided to play rugby, were NO mugs.
It was a beautiful day for rugby.
The attitude and commitment shown in defence throughout the game was exemplary. We were under immense pressure near to our own line on several occasions but managed to break away and score twice through James Pattison (JP) and James Turvill. So to concede only one try was very impressive, and bodes well for the season ahead, if that attitude is maintained.
I am loathe to mention 'names' as it was essentially a fantastic team performance with everyone playing for each other.
Having said that, Nathan Williams led by example in defence closely followed by captain Rob Richardson both of whom pulled off some fantastic tackles (and scored 2nd half tries), and the former stopping a seemingly certain try against us by 'steeling' ( get it - spelling mistake on purpose ) the ball as Banbridge was about to score.
I was also hugely impressed with the new guys Kane Appleby-Rutter, Josh on the wing who bagged a try late in a reduced 2nd half (with pace), James at 13 and Chris Malleyon the other wing.
When we did attack we did so well with good hands at outside centre, when under a bit of pressure and in our own half - good rugby putting our pace men away. We can really work on this!!
Things to work on - Line-outs and Scrums - so not much there then…..but we were a scratch side, so I can allow that…. for now.
Having said that the pack did put in a very good shift, particularly in defence - and it was a fantastic workout.
Also, the offload was on, on more than one occasion and we went into contact instead (you know who you are) - but as I say it is early days and we won.
A few lessons were learned - taking ball back to touch down behind own line - no names here…. just initials JP - but a lesson learned.
Congratulations to “Big Dave” for being nominated by the Irish lads as Man of the Match. Well done Dave Lockheart.
Things will be different next week no doubt for the Panther’s first league game, but with a few players to return if the same attitude is shown, players will actually be playing for their places.
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