Panthers learn from 253-point loss
ROCKHAMPTON Panthers assistant coach Rob Taylor insists his side will bounce back following their 253-point loss at the hands of BITS Saints on Saturday afternoon.
Travelling to Boyne Island is always a difficult task; but for the Panthers things got a whole lot tougher with seven experienced campaigners unavailable for the round three AFL Capricornia Trend Interiors Carpet and Tile Court premiership clash.
Panthers fielded a largely inexperienced outfit, with a number of under-17 players stepping up, and were outmuscled at the contest, with Saints full forward John Beirouti slotting home 20 and Adam Rakip 13 of BITS' 43 goals.
Beirouti, the Saints' number one target, was a dominant force in the forward line with Taylor admitting the Panthers found it difficult to contain him.
“We tried a few blokes on him, but he basically had the run of the forward line,” Taylor said.
While he wasn't about to make excuses, Taylor said it was a tough ask for his young squad to travel down to face the Saints at home.
“All our experienced players weren't there. We're a young side to start with and we made the decision to play the kids rather than reserve grade players,” he said.
“Boyne Island were just too big and experienced. That took its toll and the boys dropped off the pace.
“We'll be looking at trying to bounce back this weekend against Yeppoon and put in a good performance.”
After the match, Taylor said he spoke with the players and commended them on their effort and believes the youngsters will gain plenty out of the match.
“I told the boys to keep their heads up. It's only their first game in senior football for a lot of them and they'll get better at it,” he said.
Despite the loss, Taylor was impressed with the effort and the performance of a number of youngsters, in particular Liam Pepper.
“He's only 18 this year and he's playing his first year, but I was very impressed with him,” he said. “Matty Ryan was very good too.”
In the other AFL Capricornia A grade fixtures on the weekend, Yeppoon 10.10 (70) defeated Brothers 7.7 (49) at the coast while Glenmore remain unbeaten this season after their 20.13 (133) to 15.12 (102) win over Gladstone Mudcrabs.