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Walters stars as Wests nab first win over 'Roos

Wests Panthers' Jack Walters played a starring role in his sides 24-18 win over North Lakes Kangaroos in Round 2 of the Open Men's Division 2 North competition on Saturday. 

In the return of senior men’s rugby league to Purtell Park, the son of spectating Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters was in everything as the Panthers secured their first win of the season.

It was the Panthers who got the scoring under way in the 15th minute, crossing under the sticks after some good lead up work by skipper Xavier McKoy.

With plenty of drop ball from both sides, the Panthers were guilty of a momentary lapse of concentration in attack, handing over possession from inside their own red zone.

The Kangaroos capitalised and made the home side pay, crossing out wide to level up the scores at 6-6.

Another Panthers mistake not soon after gave the visitors a gift four pointer to the rampaging John Teatu-Roto, who crashed over besides the sticks to take the lead.

The Panthers were struggling to get into the game, with North Lakes' big men starting to get the upper hand in defence.

But cometh the man, cometh the hour - hooker Jack Walters' touch of fortune in the 27th minute saw the Panthers dummy half edge his way to the line and pinch a four pointer right beside the sticks.

Feeding off his hooker’s exuberance was Panthers halfback Nicholas Lloyd, whose kicking game was magnificent.

Running a wide angle, the Panthers half nearly put the home side in front, scooting down the blind side only to see his cut-out pass sail into touch.

However, the Kangaroos were in no mood to let the Panthers take full control of this game, with forwards Quenton Aiono and Jonathon Fatamai outstanding in both attack and defence to put the Panthers on the back foot.

Aiono’s powerful running created an overlap out wide for the Kangaroos and they touched down right on halftime to head into the sheds leading the Panthers 18-16.

With a storm hitting during the break, the rain proved to be tricky for the players and ball security was becoming a problem for both teams early on.

However, with the Panthers finding a new spring in their step, started making good inroads up the middle early on through forwards McKoy and Jasper Giaroli, who were outstanding for the home side in the second half.

Walters dummy half running was causing the Kangaroos all sorts of problems and frustration boiled over in the 52nd minute of play which resulted in two visiting players sent to the sin bin.

The Panthers took advantage of the two man overlap through captain McKoy, who waltzed over to score the easiest of tries out wide.

The Panthers iced the cake right on full-time with a penalty goal from in front, which saw the home side come away with a hard-fought win in trying conditions.

Wests pay Pine Central Holy Spirit a visit in Round 3, while North Lakes is home to Brighton.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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