Wallaroos look good despite opening-round loss to Wests
FOR a side that had not yet played together Wallaroos looked on song for the first half of their clash with Wests Panthers.
The Panthers were too strong for Wallaroos in the end, but the first half display gives coach Peter Waters plenty to smile about.
The Maryborough club matched their much-fancied rivals for most of the opening stanza.
Their forwards worked tirelessly which allowed the backs to exploit the wealth of space, and when directed by former CQ Capra Shaun Collins and halfback Luke Waters managed to make plenty of metres.
Wallaroos ran out of puff in the second stanza but the first 40 minutes was enough to leave co-captain Jack Horder optimistic of their future.
"The first half was good but we lost pace towards the end," he said.
"The boys are getting fitter and we're looking good out there, we just tired ourselves out."
Once Wests' lock Joshua Tanner and halfback Bevan Page wrested control in the second half their class shone through.
Winger Willy Nagas and centre Quentin Olive both finished with two tries each, though it could have been more had they had better execution.
Panthers coach Nathan Tanner said those mistakes allowed Wallaroos more ball, and it was a part of the game Wests had to improve in weeks to come.
"Wallaroos played pretty well I thought," he said.
"We made a few mistakes at the wrong end of the field and put a lot of pressure on ourselves.
"We pride ourselves on being constructive, completing sets and playing simple football. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and had to defend.
"We can work on that."
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Horder said his side had to work on both defence and line speed, which they then had to execute for the whole 80 minutes.
Wallaroos will play Hervey Bay Seagulls at Maryborough's Eskdale Park on Saturday as part of the Bundaberg Rugby League's second double header.
Isis Devils play Waves Tigers in the first game at 4.30pm, with Wallaroos to kick off at 6.30pm.
The Panthers have the bye.