PHIL Beaton was playing like a man possessed in the opening stanza of West Lions’ four-point win over Wee Waa Panthers in their Group 4 first grade clash at Scully Park on Sunday.
The lock forward has found himself a veteran in a young pack this season, as they prepare to take on Norths in a huge local derby.
The prop got the legs pumping to outrun the Panthers and score a 50 metre try just after the break on Sunday, but it was his first half that was inspirational.
“We had four U18s in the side so we older guys had to play our best,” Beaton said.
“We had to stand up and lead the way but we got very lucky there.”
The game almost got away from Wests as a 20-point lead turned into a two point 38-36 victory.
Beaton was part of the Lions’ five straight premierships and can’t see why the club can’t make it six.
The Lions have taken a lot of confidence from their last three wins against Narrabri, Gunnedah and now Wee Waa, but know the red hot form that awaits them next week at Jack Woolaston Oval.
“That’s obviously the win we are working towards,” Beaton said.
“It’s a local derby and it’s firey and that’s why we like it.”
The prop knows how important a second place finish could be in this year’s comp.
“We need to win four of the last five games to finish second.”
That takes a bit of pressure off the Lions this weekend but after Norths demolished Gunnedah 50-18 they will have their tails up as well.
“We don’t have to beat them all season, we just have to beat them once,” Beaton said.
“We have done it before.
“We have done it five times before.”
Phil’s brother Mathew was a stand-out representing Queensland Universities on Saturday in their win over NSW Universities in Coffs Harbour.
“He went all right as well,” Beaton said.
His rousing display earned him three points in the NDL-sponsored Group 4 Player of the Year.
His Panther opposite, Daniel Jobson, also excelled and grabbed the one point with Wee Waa halfback Josh Trindall starring securing the two points.
Trindall shone at halfback alongside Kenny Anderson, although the Power brothers and Brenton Cochrane were sorely missed by the Panthers.
West welcomed the return of Shane Salvador and he helped pick up the Lions after half time too.
The mobile forward scored two tries just after half time to stretch a four point lead to 20 points.
Captain coach Chris Hunt did some damage with the ball in hand and was impressed by some patches of play from his side.
“The boys knew we had to lift at half time and we did,” Hunt said.
“We were pretty pumped up in there.”