HE'S long been known as a super sub, but now it's all about sudden impact when it come to Bathurst Panthers forward Jed Betts.
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After spending a vast majority of his first grade career for Bathurst Panthers as a player who was injected of the bench, since round five of this year's Peter McDonald Premiership Betts has been a starting prop.
It's no great surprise to hear Betts is enjoying the new challenge given he's always been a player who does whatever job Panthers have required of him.
"It's something a bit different, it's a little bit tougher going out there when everyone is fresh as compared to coming off the bench, but it's a good change," Betts said.
"I've sort of been wanting to do it ever since I started playing, but a couple of guys thought I'd be better off being an impact player coming off the bench. But we just had a bit of a change up, Jake [Betts, captain-coach] thought we'd give it a try and it's been working.
"I'm definitely enjoying it, I've had a handful of games where I started before, but it's worked better for the team that I started on the bench previous years."
Since Betts has switched from the bench to the starting side, Panthers has only lost once.
Though there have been many contributing factors in the victories, the hard yards Betts earns up the middle and amount of work he gets through in defence have definitely helped.
It's a frequent sight to see three and four defenders hanging off the front rower but he still manages to find an off-load.
He's certainly repaid the faith brother Jake, in his first year as coach, has placed in him.
This Saturday Betts' mission is to help Panthers start strongly against a Mudgee outfit that is sitting on top of the Group 10 pool ladder.
It will be Panthers' first game since its disappointing 40-26 loss to Forbes on June 26.
While the men in black have had consecutive byes in the past fortnight, Mudgee has continued to be a pacesetter in the new competition with wins against Orange Hawks (28-12) and Nyngan (64-24).
Mudgee also got the better of Panthers when the rivals met in round four, winning 32-18 at Carrington Park.
On top of that, on Saturday the Dragons will have the home ground advantage and a big crowd is expected too given the club will be celebrating 20 years since the 2002 first grade premiership.
Still, Betts has faith Panthers can better the Dragons if they can produce their best football.
"They're sitting a couple of points ahead of us so it's going to be a real good test for us, especially because we've had two weeks off with the byes," he said.
"It's their old boys day as well, so they're going to be coming out firing, they'll definitely be tough.
"They're ticking along quite nicely so they're one of the teams we're going to have to kick over if we're going to be in contention this year.
"I think we definitely do have the squad to do it if we show up, but I think anyone can beat anyone on the day, it just depends if it's your day."
While Betts no longer starts from the bench, one man who could make an impact as a super sub for Panthers is Joey Bugg.
Bugg had a big pre-season in the halves for Panthers, but was injured in the round one win over Wellington.
Having him back provides Panthers with more options, Bugg being versatile enough that he could be deployed at hooker once the Dragons' big men start to tire.
Saturday's match at Glen Willow will kick off at 2.15pm.
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