FOUR tries in the space of 13 brilliant attacking minutes - it was an effort which highlights why Bathurst Panthers are sitting on top of the Group 10 Junior Rugby League under 13s ladder.
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Panthers put on the scoring blitz in the final minutes of Friday's round 11 match against St Pat's to emerge 40-6 victors.
Prior to that the Saints were in striking distance of upsetting a Panthers side that has only lost once in 2022 and boasts the best defensive record in the under 13s competition.
Though the Saints went into the contest at Jack Arrow Oval as the distinct underdog - they'd lost their first meeting with Panthers 30-8 in round two - they showed plenty of heart.
Five-eighth Archie Kleinschafer made some brilliant one-on-one tackles and hooker Tye Saul got through plenty of defensive work as well.
But it was that defensive work that fatigued the Saints and Panthers then ultimately exploited.
Halfback Riley Carter put on a masterclass of attacking football and with his team-mates including speedsters such as centre Lucas Babbage and fullback Cooper Naylor as well as hard charging prop Leon Mokaraka, Panthers simply had too many attacking options.
It was a big play from Carter that helped create the opening try in the third minute. He kicked a 40-20 and from the resulting scrum Panthers spread the ball to prop Zac Leydecker who charged over.
The halfback added a try assist to his statistics sheet not long after when a brilliant cut-out pass put second rower Riley Renshaw over in the left corner. That made it 10-0.
But the first half highlights did not all belong to Panthers.
Pat's lock Deon Ryan got within inches of scoring, winger Kody Hearn at one stage threw himself into a tackle to stop the much bigger Mokaraka, and on the stroke of half-time Ralph Tilley scored.
The fullback chased hard after a kick which bounced perfectly for him, his try and Kleinschafer's conversion making it 10-6 at half-time.
The second half was just one minute old when Panthers laid on a third try, Carter backing up a Mokaraka line break.
Panthers continued to pressure and while the Saints defended grimly, the effort wore the blue and whites down.
Then came the 13 minutes of brilliance from Panthers.
It began as a good kick chase from Panthers forced a Pat's player into touch and handed them possession in an attacking position.
Renshaw scored off that set to make it a double for the derby.
Next came a 45-metre run to the line from Mokaraka after he sliced through the Saints' left edge defence and not to be outdone, Tyler Kelleher then laid on his own long range effort.
The final try came right on full-time via Babbage and it was well deserved too.
In the first half the centre had lost the ball trying to dive over and had been caught by the Saints cover defence after a line break and 50 metre run.
But when he got another chance in the final seconds he took it, a pair of left foot steps helping him beat the Saints defence.
Carter converted to seal a 40-6 win which keeps Panthers in the lead for the minor premiership with two rounds remaining.
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