Cowra coach Rory Brien won’t look into Saturday’s 62-16 loss against Bathurst Panthers at Carrington Park, as the Magpies turn their attention to this week’s clash with Orange Hawks.
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Despite slipping to sixth with Lithgow Workies moving to fifth, the Magpies and Hawks match this weekend will likely determine who’ll be playing finals football in 2017.
Workies finish the regular season with games against top three sides Orange CYMS and Mudgee Dragons while Cowra gets an automatic two points from the bye and Hawks should beat Bathurst St Pat’s.
Cowra will welcome the return of a number of players who were absent from Saturday’s outfit, a game Panthers crossed for 11 tries in with former Magpie Braydn Cassidy bagging a hat-trick.
Thanks to the victory Panthers boast a five point buffer over the Oberon Tigers and Mudgee and can’t be knocked out of second spot.
Panthers secretary Wayne Boyd said a strong first half in Saturday’s fixture allowed the Bathurst men to build up momentum quickly.
“We rested a lot of blokes and we were able to give a lot of our younger guys like Jarrod Seager and Jed Betts some valuable time on the field. Simon Osborne has been away and he got good time out there as well,” he said.
“We were up 12-0 in 12 minutes and at one stage looked like scoring a point a minute, but we fell away a bit in the second half.
“To Cowra’s credit they kept trying. They’ve really been struggling for numbers.”
Victory for Panthers keeps their small chance of minor premiership alive as they sit two points behind leaders Orange CYMS.
Panthers will finish their regular season with tough matches against fellow finalists Mudgee Dragons and Oberon Tigers.
“This was a really good hit out for us. We had a bye, a match against Blayney, then another bye so this was one we needed,” Boyd said.
“There were a few balls going to ground and some errors here and there but it was still a really good result for us to have going into a hard game against Mudgee.”
Magpies have slipped out of the competition’s top five after Lithgow Workies won their match over St Pat’s on Saturday.
Panthers were sporting pink jerseys in support of the Breast Cancer Foundation, with the shirts auctioned off after the match.
“Bradyn Cassidy’s mother died during the off-season … and we held this auction to support the Breast Cancer Foundation,” Boyd said.
“Cowra bought Bradyn’s jersey for $500 so they could give it back to him. That was a great gesture from the club.
“We made over $6,200 from the sale of the jumpers and that’s an amazing effort from our players and families.” In the lower grades, Cowra was unable to field to a reserve grade side while league tag was edged out 22-4 and the 18s lost 28-22.
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