Seven-win streak comes crashing down

Early vacation: The Panthers’ Toyota Cup side were punished for idolising their bye rather than a victory over the Rabbitohs.Picture: Gene RamirezWhere did the boys go so wrong? “I think they probably went wrong during the week leading up to the game. I could just feel that their minds weren’t going to be on the job as we were going into the bye. Last time we went into a bye we struggled against Manly who were coming last and the time before that we got beaten by the Tigers by 40. So there’s a pattern there and it’s not a coincidence.”
Nanjing Night Net

Sometimes scorelines can be flattering towards the winner. Was the scoreboard a fair reflection of the game? “It was probably flattering to us. We didn’t turn up ready for hard work and if you do that against any team you’ll get beaten, but against a good-quality opposition you’ll get embarrassed. And that’s what happened to us.”

How disappointing was the result for you, personally? “It’s always disappointing to lose but to lose in that way, it’s hard to take and I’ll probably stew on it for the next two weeks. I can handle losing, I don’t like it but I can handle it — if they turn up, give their best and try their hardest.”

What was your message to the boys at full-time? “I just spoke to them about their aspirations to be NRL players. I told them they need to be consistent and turn up and play no matter who they’re playing or what’s happening during the week.”

Do you think the loss will dent the side’s confidence? “We got embarrassed by the Tigers and bounced back OK, so I’m hoping we can bounce back OK. A week off to freshen up for the run into the semis is exactly what we need. It doesn’t get much harder than our run home and a loss like we had against the Rabbitohs, although it’s not nice to have, might be what we needed.”

Were there any positives you took out of the game? “No.”

Were there any individual performances which stood out to you? “Tom Eisenhuth was great again — he gives everything he’s got — and young Matthew Lodge debuted for us in the front row as a 17-year-old. That’s a massive effort in the under-20s competition and I thought he ripped in and probably embarrassed some of the other players who are 20 and been there all year.”

What’s your plan for the side leading into and out of the bye this weekend? “We’ll either have a bit of a break or train through — it depends whether I calm down or not.”

How much harder is a bye after a loss rather than a win? “It ruins any break you have, or does for me anyway. It’s nice to put your feet up and think how good we’re going, when we’re coming off a win, but that’s not going to be the case.”

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