Sawtell Panthers too strong for Macksville Sea Eagles in under 18 competition Coffs Coast Sport News Of The Area by News Of The Area - Modern Media - July 21, 2021 Grady Spokes spreading the play wide to Zach Stevenson. The Sawtell Panthers under 18s defeated competition leaders Macksville Sea Eagles with the last play of the game at Rex Hardaker Oval last Thursday evening in the Tooheys New Group 2 competition. After 77 minutes the scores were locked at 18-18 until Panthers hooker Grady Spokes played the ball out wide for flying winger Hamish Cap to deliver into the corner and seal the points for the Panthers to consolidate their position in second place. Panthers coach Peter Barrett was proud of the team. “There was a great atmosphere at our home ground and the young blokes showed great commitment. “I am very proud of them and hopefully we can move on from here. “There’s been a great rivalry between the Panthers in second spot and Macksville in first position, we’ve played each other four times and we’ve won two and Macksville have won two and there’s never been more than six points between us,” said Peter. The victory for the Panthers was made all the more sweeter in front of an enthusiastic crowd who have been starved of rugby at their home ground. “Unfortunately we didn’t have numbers for first and reserve grade senior teams this year which means we play our home matches following Woolgoolga who don’t have an under 18s team,” said Peter. “As you can see, the people here tonight showed up in force and voted with their feet, they love their footy so hopefully we can raise a first and reserve grade team next year and play our matches at home in front of our home crowd,” said Peter. If positions remain unchanged, the Sawtell Panthers will face Macksville in the under 18s major semi final and the Coffs Harbour Comets will play the South Grafton Rebels in the minor semi final. By David WIGLEY Jace Driver driving at the Macksville defence. Leo Phillips with a powerful run through the centre.