‘We’ve got to finish strong!’

Top of the crop: The Panthers’ Toyota Cup side are outright first on the competition ladder.Picture: Carlos FurtadoWhat were your thoughts when the full-time siren sounded against the Warriors? “I was just really proud of the effort the guys put in. I really hope Penrith fans appreciate how hard these young guys are working.”
Nanjing Night Net

How did the rainy conditions affect the quality of football you opted to play? “We like to play an expansive style of footy and in those conditions you can’t. We could’ve used our field position a lot better. We could’ve kicked earlier. We were hanging onto the ball too long and increasing the risk of errors instead of getting it down the other end of the field and letting them make errors.”

The post-games statistics registered your completion rate as just 57 per cent. “That’d probably be about right — in fact, it probably flatters us.”

What impressed you most about the team’s performance? “Obviously, our defence. I don’t remember too many times the NYC Warriors team get held to 10 points.”

But you think the Panthers are still yet to show their true talent? “I keep telling the boys I’m disappointed with how we play although we’re winning. We can do better. We’re putting ourselves under big pressure to win but if we played smart and controlled the ball wins would come easier. I believe in them.”

What was most disappointing about the team’s performance? “We set ourselves a goal of completing our first five sets and laying the platform which we achieved and were 10-0 up. But we completed two from our next 10, which is committing suicide against a side like the Warriors.”

Whose individual performance stood out to you? “I thought Vaipuna Tia Kilifi was exceptional again and young Chris Knight and Blake South, our two interchange hookers, had their best games of the year as well.”

The side meet the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Park on Sunday. What’s most dangerous about them and what do the Panthers need to focus on to beat them? “The Titans are coming off a real big win. They travelled to Shark Park and put 40 on Cronulla and just to win at Shark Park is an effort in itself. One of our negatives is the back ends of sets when we’re defending. We’ve got to finish strong in everything we do.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.