BUSTING THROUGH: The Sawtell Panthers will try and get back in the winners' circle this weekend against the South Grafton Rebels.
BUSTING THROUGH: The Sawtell Panthers will try and get back in the winners' circle this weekend against the South Grafton Rebels. Sam Flanagan

Coach wants to put an end to side's yo-yo form

RUGBY LEAGUE: A third of the Group 2 season is in the books and we've learnt one thing: finals spots are up for grabs.

After five rounds, just two wins separate first from seventh, with four teams sitting on four competition points.

One of the sides well and truly in the mix to be playing footy deep into August is the Sawtell Panthers, who sit third on the ladder but are yet to find the consistency they've been chasing.

After two wins in a row the Panthers travelled to Macksville last Sunday ready to earn victory, but suffered a 22 point defeat.

Coach Garry Stevenson said consistency is the key word for his men in 2019, as there's a wide gap between their best and worst.

"We try to reiterate that performance week in, week out is important,” Stevenson said.

"We'd like to be at a high standard consistently but unfortunately we keep starting poorly which can affect your performance when you're playing catch-up.”

The Panthers are taking on the South Grafton Rebels Saturday afternoon from 5.30pm at Rex Hardaker Oval.

Stevenson said discipline will be crucial against a side who can get testy at times.

"South Grafton have always been a tough team and we're expecting a torrid battle,” he said.

"We need to play hard and our experienced guys need to really aim up.”

In other games this weekend the Woolgoolga Seahorses host the Coffs Harbour Comets Sunday afternoon at The Aquarium in the first instalment of the Dawes Harvey Cup for 2019.

Match of the round may be contested at Frank McGuren Field, as the Grafton Ghosts entertain the high-flying Macksville Sea Eagles who are hunting top spot on the ladder.

Both matches kick off at 2.45pm Sunday.



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