This week the Under 17s headed north to Wellington to see if they could finally crack a win against the Redbacks.
Having missed out on valuable points over the first few rounds of the Coates Hire competition, the young Panthers were determined to get some points on the table.
The boys started on the right note with a try to Mat Cashen and a successful conversion from Ben Kelly.
Problems the team had had in previous weeks, including lazy defence and slow support, seemed to have been corrected; but you have to give credit where credits due and good teamwork by Wellington saw them score under the posts, to level the score 7-7.
After sustained pressure on the Wellington line an infringement from the opposition gave Ben Kelly the opportunity to kick a penalty and take the lead again for the Panthers 10-7.
Play continued going from end to end before a Wellington player broke out of the middle of our ruck and ran 20 metres to score a converted try.
Score 14-10 to Wellington.
At halftime the talk was about more effort in defence and trying to retain the ball for longer periods as losing the ball in the tackle seemed to be becoming a problem.
Soon after the break some good lead up work from Jeremy Wheatley saw him score and Ben knocked it over putting the boys in front again 17-14.
With 4 minutes to go we had Wellington jammed in their quarter before they quickly worked their way 80 metres up field to score and convert, 21-17 Wellington.
The young Panthers boys fell off more tackles in that 80 metres than we have for a couple of weeks, but stirred up by that lapse in concentration the boys attacked in the final minute only to be penalised 5 metres short of Wellingtons line for allegedly not releasing the ball after being tackled.
A disappointing end to a much improved effort.
Best and Fairest 3pts Matt Bryant, 2pts Ben Kelly, 1pt Jake Piper.
This coming weekend the Under 17s play Dubbo Blues at Cowra starting at 11.30am.