Wet weather won't worry Panthers
There haven't been too many Penrith Panthers fixtures this season where the weather hasn't affected proceedings. There is no black cat metaphor to describe or hoodoo to explain, but for whatever reason, the rain always happens to fall when the Panthers run out, and it could be hurting their top eight aspirations.
With Ivan Cleary's men unable to string two results together this season, the inconsistent Panthers team carry their elongated nine round win-loss streak into their game against the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. The question has to be asked: is the weather impacting the Panthers season?
"We're not getting the luck of the draw with the weather. We're happy with the results though we just have to back it up," Penrith hooker James Segeyaro told NRL.com.
While the energetic 23-year-old is happy to label their bizarre string of wet weather matches as 'it is what it is', last weekend the undeterred Panthers came out on top with a 32-10 victory over the Newcastle Knights. That fixture contained four seasons in one game, but Segeyaro isn't complaining.
"It was a bit wet. We've obviously played in those conditions before so it sort of favours us a bit in a stop-and-start game with a couple of injuries, but we’re happy to come away with the two points. In the middle of that second-half there was a bit of drop ball but to come away with the two points – you can't argue with that," Segeyaro said.
"We just try and play our normal game but we just try and keep everything a bit shorter and be a bit earlier with passes and stuff like that. We probably play more of a forward's game then that fancy stuff that the people like to see."
If it isn't the weather, then why haven't the Penrith Panthers been able to win consecutive games this season? If it was up to Segeyaro to decide, he would put it down to sheer inconsistency.
"We just have to be not complacent and be relentless and composed and just keep doing what we're doing and try and get better each training session and try not to think we're going to win easily, because it's a top competition. Especially against Canberra at home – I don't think I've ever had a victory there," Segeyaro said.
"Canberra's coming off two massive score-lines so they're going to be strong at home... we can't get complacent coming into this week and we have to try and play our best game."
With Kevin Kingston currently on the shelf with an ankle ligament injury, Segeyaro has another focus heading into Sunday's game – to show the Panthers coaching staff that he is more than capable to play the full 80 in the No. 9 jersey when Kingston decides to hang his boots up.
"Ask every NRL player and any bench player, they always want to start and that was one of my main goals when I first came down here, to hopefully put on that No. 9 and I was lucky to be given the opportunity against the Knights," Segeyaro said.
"To play 80 minutes is something that I've set out in my career to do – it's just a matter of me being consistent – I can't afford to drop my game – I've just got to keep going."
With the Panthers claiming a 12-6 victory in Round 5 against this weekend's opponents – in what Segeyaro described as "monsoon weather" – the hooker has one tiny wish.
"Let's just hope it's a bit drier," Segeyaro said. "In saying that, it is Canberra, so anything can happen."