By Shane Jones
Life is sweet for Western Suburbs at the top of the Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade.
And now the team is on the hunt for more silverware after winning its first trophy for the year on Sunday.
The Panthers won the Mark Halter Memorial Trophy with a 26-18 win over Past Brothers in the latest round of the A-grade competition.
In a close contest, the Panthers fought back from a half-time deficit to win in the second half as their youngsters shone, with Brendan Grills, Lachlan Patterson and Zander Kerr all scoring.
“It’s good to get something,” Wests coach Corey Tanner said.
“(The game) perked the boys up, so it was good to get the win.
“Trev is a close friend of the club.”
The trophy is named after Mark Halter, who played for both clubs and died from pancreatic cancer a few years ago.
Brothers won the last time the trophy was contested in 2019 with Mark’s father Trevor helping to get the trophy the teams fought for.
“It’s just reward for the boys, they are working hard,” Tanner said.
“There is talk that Brothers have the best team on paper.
“But sometimes the best team on paper doesn’t win.”
Tanner was impressed with his young players in the team as they stood up when it counted.
The team lost Dan Tanner early, which forced a shuffle in their line-up with other players getting time to shine.
“Lachie Patterson and Zander Kerr both played well,” Tanner said.
“He’s (Kerr) a young talented player, so we will give him all the opportunity to play as much A-grade as he can.”
Tanner will now focus on using those players to beat the Wallaroos this weekend.
The coach is planning on resting players for the trip to Maryborough, given the club is now three points clear at the top of the ladder.
“We’re looking at it as an opportunity to give young players a run,” Tanner said.
“Players know and understand that there are positions up for grabs leading into later in the season and finals.
“For us depth in each position is the key.”
Tanner said the side was every chance of winning, despite having players out.
“If we get a fair share of the footy and the penalties, we’ll be more than capable of winning,” he said.
“We know it is hard to win regardless down there but with our young fellas on, you never know.”
Wests will take on the Wallaroos at 5pm tomorrow at Eskdale Park.
In other matches, to be held on Sunday at Salter Oval, Past Brothers take on Hervey Bay at 1.30pm with Easts to take on The Waves at 3pm.
The Waves will head into that match on a two-game winning streak after beating Hervey Bay 36-8, with Easts beating the Wallaroos 34-12 in the other contest last week.