Daniel Martin and Rhys Giles in defence.
Daniel Martin and Rhys Giles in defence. Mai Hou Nielsen

Biloela's aggressive forwards forge path to away win

A FINAL 20 minute blitzkrieg of points masterminded by Panthers 5/8th Daniel Martin and Hooker Byron Hassle sealed a massive win for the Biloela Panthers over Emu Park 52-22 in Emu Park's first game at their brand new home ground.

The first 60 minutes was full of aggression and big hits as both forward packs went to war.

Panthers forwards Shane Carter and Rhys Giles more than held their own against Emu Park's much vaunted and bigger forward pack littered with a number of Capra's squad forwards.

Emu Park scored in the opening minutes but it was soon all the Panthers as Shane Carter provided the perfect pass to Daniel Martin to equalise. Martin was then the recipient of some great backing up to receive an offload from halfback Gibson Gela to put the Panthers in front.

Martin's red hot form continued with a precision kick finding Jarrod Dahtler on debut for the Panthers as they led, 16-6.

They then went try for try, the Panthers holding a narrow 20-18 lead at half time.

Both teams continued to trade big hits after the break with the Panthers the first to break as Emu Park regained the lead after five minutes. This would be the last time the Panthers allowed their opponents to score. Gibson Gela dummied his way through the line before finding a flying Jayden Alberts backing up to score under the posts. The rest of the evening was the Daniel Martin show as he played a hand in four of the Panthers next five tries. Martin was the recipient of some great work by hooker Byron Hassle.

Ryan Wilson and and Jarrad Dahtler also benefited from Martin's vision each scoring tries in the last 20 minutes after precision passes from Martin. Hooker Byron Hassle sealed the Panthers unprecedented final 20 minutes with a try in the corner to seal the victory over a completely shell shocked Emu Park side.

Panther's spokesperson Kelly Christensen said the toughness and mental application of the team's forwards and halves was the catalyst for the win.

"It was a massive match for both sides tonight and I think that we finally showed the competition what we are capable of when we turn up with a professional attitude,” Christensen said.

"Tonight our forwards fired up and outplayed players with some big reputations while DM (Martin) and Gibson Gela really dug into the line and played tonight and ran the ball.

"If we can continue to do the hard work early, the game will open up for us later on like it did tonight.

"We just have to keep being consistent and enthusiastic.”

The Panthers Reserve Grade and under-20 sides also won their matches 30-26 and 24-18 respectively. Dean McCulloch and Ben Hibble were the best players for reserve grade while Luke Sketchley and Dylan Chittick were amongst the best for the under-20s.

The Panthers take on 7th placed Valleys next weekend in Gladstone on Saturday night.

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