Gunners captain Joseph Copas runs forward.
Gunners captain Joseph Copas runs forward. Callum Dick

Early advantage to Gunners

Football: Gunners captain Joseph Copas knew his side was in for a tough contest ahead of their 3-2 win over Nanango on Saturday.

Gunners and Nanango have been traditional rivals for the last few seasons, and after a number of lean years against the Panthers, Copas was happy to get the points.

"We definitely knew it was going to be a physical contest, it always is when we verse them,” Copas said.

"We hadn't beaten them for a few years now, so our main goal was to get an early win on the board (for the season) and we ended up doing that.”

The Nanango game plan became obvious early, as they looked to send long through balls between the Gunners' centre halves.

It proved to be successful, with the Panthers taking an early lead before the hosts responded to level heading into half time.

Copas labelled defender Lachie Hurt as "one of the best in the league”, and he was key to limiting the visitors to just one goal in the second half as the Gunners put two more past the Nanango 'keeper to seal the win.

After a tough 2-2 draw with Wests to open the season, Copas was happier with his side's performance this time out but was cautious of reading too much into it so early in the season.

"It's tough because for the last two or three years it's been Nanango and Gunners challenging to win the league,” Copas said.

"But I think it's reasonable to say we can be in the final again, and from there we'll want to win it.”

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