Wests' Nicholas Tanner charges at Maryborough Brothers' defence and, (inset) Waves Tiger Trent Seeds battles through Easts Magpies' defensive line. .
Wests' Nicholas Tanner charges at Maryborough Brothers' defence and, (inset) Waves Tiger Trent Seeds battles through Easts Magpies' defensive line. . Matthew McInerney

Wests coach praises young guns after tough win

LEAGUE: They trailed by four at half-time against a spirited Maryborough Brothers side which produced arguably its best performance of the season, but Wests Panthers coach Corey Tanner said his side never lost confidence despite what Eskdale Park's scoreboard said.

With four under-18 players and a reduced squad, Tanner's men produced a second half that proved the Panthers must be in the conversation about the Bundaberg Rugby League's possible premiers.

The Panthers overturned an 18-14 half-time deficit to leave Maryborough with a 38-30 win, a result which ensures Wests maintain pace with the BRL's top three teams.

"We were prepared but they did catch us napping early on," Tanner said after full-time.

"It was just when we allowed them over halfway and we didn't want to defend our line and they're good enough to score points as well.

"I think it was five bad mistakes from us and they scored five tries. If we can cut those mistakes out we're fine."

Maryborough Brothers attacked within 30m of the try line in the final two minutes, but a crunching tackle dislodged the ball into a Panther's hands to quell the threat. Less than a minute later, Hayden Priestley touched down to add a buffer to the margin.

It was a small moment in the game, but the 78th minute effort proved this Panthers outfit will not back down whether it's the first, or last, minute - a vital attribute for semi-final footy.

At Bundaberg's Salter Oval, Waves Tigers beat Easts Magpies 30-22 while Isis Devils beat Past Brothers 22-16.

Wallaroos defeated Hervey Bay 44-12 in the other game.

The BRL now enters a two-week break for rep fixtures.



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