The West Coast Pirates’ 2019 season is over for another year, with the players able to hold their heads high after a spirited second-half showing in their SG Ball Round 9 loss to the Penrith Panthers at Charlottes Pavilion on Saturday.
The Pirates crossed for three second-half tries, including two to enforcer Jackson Hansen-Bond, but a poor first-half put them behind the pace as they went down 70-18 to the Panthers
Despite the loss, Pirates coach Daniel Manning took plenty of positives from the performance as his side eliminated his hometown, Penrith, from finals contention on points differential.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted, but one result was that we knocked Penrith out,” Manning said.
“At the end of the day, I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”
Entering the game with a 0-7 record, the Pirates got off to the worst possible start – giving up six first-half tries to head into the sheds with a 34-0 deficit.
The Pirates were a different side after the break, however, and led by second-year star Hansen-Bond, were the first to score after the change of ends.
Hansen-Bond popped up in the right place at the right time to dot down twice to take him to a team-high five tries for the season.
“The last game couldn’t have ended better for me,” Hansen-Bond said after playing his final game for the Pirates.
“It means everything [to represent the Pirates]. I grew up in Perth – this is my home.
“I couldn’t be more proud to represent the West Coast Pirates, and even better with a coach like Dan [Manning].
Dummy half Peliata Fisiihoi also touched down for a four-pointer as the Pirates salvaged some pride in their final game of the season.
“These boys are just outstanding,” Manning said.
From everyone here at the Cash Converters West Coast Pirates, we would like to thank everyone for their support during the 2019 SG Ball season and can’t wait to see you all for the Pirates Youth Cup campaign that gets underway on 3 May.