Middlemount under injury cloud

INJURY has returned to haunt the Middlemount Panthers after their 26-24 loss to Peak Downs Pirates at the weekend.

Panther’s front-rower Mark Thomas is the latest to succumb in a mounting injury toll for the Middlemount club, after dislocating his knee just before half-time.

Thomas’ complications combined with additional minor injuries, reduced their playing presence to just 12 men by the 80-minute mark.

Coach Steve Henderson was adamant the injuries were not a reflection of the team’s conditioning.

“They say it’s been happening because of a lack of fitness but you can’t you predict that stuff,” he said. “I think we did very well with the numbers we had.”

Panthers’ centre and man of the match Ryan Hansen carried the weight of the team on his shoulders.

“He was unreal,” Henderson said. “When we were left with 12 blokes, he was everywhere and just shutting them down.”

With a solid record against strong opposition, Henderson was optimistic there was still hope for the Panthers yet.

“I don’t know what is but it seems we always go better against the stronger sides,” he said.

“We’ll keep scraping together what we can get.”

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