TOO QUICK: Victoria Johnson gets away in the qualifying semi-final between South Grafton Rebels and Sawtell Panthers in ladies league tag at Frank McGuren Field.
TOO QUICK: Victoria Johnson gets away in the qualifying semi-final between South Grafton Rebels and Sawtell Panthers in ladies league tag at Frank McGuren Field. Adam Hourigan

Panthers overrun Rebels in extra time of league tag thriller

LADIES LEAGUE TAG: The South Grafton Rebels faced an early replay of last year's grand final yesterday as the Sawtell Panthers came away 18-10 winners after extra time.

The visiting Panthers looked the stronger of the two sides from the start with some dangerous link-up play deep in the Rebels half.

South Grafton tried to find some space of their own as they moved up the ground but the Sawtell defence was stifling and the Rebels couldn't break through.

Sawtell thought they had found the opener but the pass was ruled forward although their pressure eventually paid off when Victoria Johnson found a gap to finish with ease.

South Grafton's Carmel Walker had a moment of magic when she produced a kick and chase to cross the line but the referee pulled the play back and handed the Rebels a penalty for Jozee Adamson to step up and convert.

Sawtell extended their lead early in the second half when Kiara Briggs took her chance to score under the dot.

The Rebels fought back and narrowed the gap to two points with a sharp try to Edwina Battilini on the right hand side before an Adamson penalty kick to level it up with the game destined for extra time.

Both sides came out in a cagey start to the added time but Sawtell took advantage of some strong attack with a try to Johnson before Faye Smith finished the Rebels off.

Sawtell now play the Macksville Sea Eagles for a spot in the grand final while the Rebels will play the Coffs Harbour Comets in an elimination semi-final.



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