K rock Football

Room to improve for Panthers

Bell Post Hill coach Justin Tarr. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

HIS team has just knocked over the only remaining unbeaten team in the competition, but Bell Post Hill coach Justin Tarr knows there is room for improvement at Myers Reserve.

The Panthers ended Geelong West’s six-match winning streak with a 20-point victory at West Oval, keeping Tarr’s men within a game of the top three.

“I said to the boys before the game, ‘it’s a high stakes game when you look at the ladder and the draw’,” he said.

“If we wanted a top-three spot, we had to get over the top of West.

“We spoke about leaving it all out there and not dying wondering, and the boys did that, and we were lucky enough to come away with a win.”

Bell Post Hill can further consolidate its spot inside the top five, with matches against Anakie and Winchelsea ahead of the Queen’s Birthday bye.

“We’ve been focussing on playing our best footy,” Tarr said.

“And I think it doesn’t matter who we play. If we play our best footy, we can be competitive with anyone.

“That will be our focus for the next two weeks.

“We’ve so much improvement in us it’s not funny. We’re just trying to get better each week.”

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The win over the Giants did come at a cost.

Zane Jones will miss the trip to Anakie after suffering a concussion, while Dylan Morton (quad), Ben Muir (hamstring) and Adrian Fantella (toe) won’t be sighted until after the bye.

However, 2018 Whitley medalist Matt James (foot) could return this week, and premiership greats Joel Page (ribs) and Tim Barton (knee) will be back on either side of the break.

Kane Collins (hamstring), Jordie Sabell (ribs) and Sam Quinn (Achilles) are also closing in on returns, while Nick Daniele has come out of retirement and will play either senior or reserves this weekend.

“Hopefully, we’ll have nearly everyone available for the Bannockburn game after the bye – the Queen’s Birthday break will come at a good time for us,” Tarr said.

“It seems like we get two back, and then we’ve got four out.

“In saying that, I think a lot of clubs have been in the same boat. I don’t think any club will have their full list available in any game this year.

“Our injury list might be longer than most, but we’ve got that depth there.”

Former Belmont Lions big man James Fisher (knee) is the only longer-term concern for the Panthers, with scans to determine what the rest of 2022 looks like.

Twitter: @tom_king79