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International flavour as Mitchelton down Gaters

There was a distinct international flavour when the Mitchelton Panthers took on the Gaters in their Open 3 Northside match on Saturday.

The array of nationalities on included Japan, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand as the Panthers ran out 42-10 winners as they hosted their annual Old Boys Day.

The Gaters couldn't have gotten off to a worse start, penalised for offside at the kickoff, gifting Mitchelton an early shot at scoring.

Less than a minute later, they converted that early opportunity into points when prop Stephen Dee broke free from two tacklers to score under the sticks.

Gaters then fired back a shot of their own, with winger De Roule Togia scoring in the corner after a sweeping attacking move that passed through seven sets of hands.

On debut, Chilean international Ignacio Rivas produced some stirring charged in the middle, while fellow impact forward Marshall Tighe fashioned a try out of nothing when he crossed the line, bumping off three would-be Gaters defenders to score.

Gaters Bronson Blakemore spotted a gap to cross again for the visitors when he lunged over from dummy half to stay in the hunt.

But as Gaters were left a man down due to a sin binning, the Panthers took full advantage and again big bookend Dee used his strength to push his way over the line right on the halftime siren.

The scored were locked at halftime, but it was one-way traffic in the second half as the flood gates opened for the Panthers, to the delight of the home crowd.

Japanese international winger Itaru Matsuo scored a scorcher of a try that saw the flanker slip under some heavy Gaters defence to courageously plant the ball right on the chalk.

Three minutes later, Panther Chad Plunkett crossed in almost identical fashion to the previous Matsuo try.

Mitchelton best served by hulking front row forward George Talafua and halfback Josh Wood who were simply outstanding.

The Old Boys crowd were then treated to arguably the try of the match when Panthers centre Jacob Robinson crossed.

Fullback Danny Williams produced an in-and-away, beat four defenders and then found halfback Wood in support. Wood chipped over the top for Robinson who collected the pill and crossed under the sticks.

Mitchelton sealed the game with a try right on fulltime to the talented Wood, who was well deserving, after collecting a short pass to swan dive over the line and clinch an important win for the battling Panthers.

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* Mike Simpson is a QRL Correspondent covering Rugby League Brisbane

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