Poor Panthers effort a while coming
Despondent Panthers coach Ivan Cleary says a woeful, error-ridden 20-0 shutout at home to the Storm was a while coming.
Penrith finished the night with just 18 of 36 completions, or 50 per cent, and Cleary said the effort sums up the team's season so far.
"It just all finally came out in one game, it doesn't surprise me really," he said.
"It was probably going to happen at some point against a good side who was very motivated. In some slippery conditions, [it was a] totally disjointed effort and by the end it was a case of trying too hard and trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat and constantly coming up with errors."
He said the performance was "something that was probably going to happen at some point".
"We need to look forward to the second half of the year and hopefully reboot our season and hopefully get a bit more continuity than what we've had."
Cleary said while injured five-eighth Jamie Soward could probably have played, he wouldn't have been able to do what he needed to, and while prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard (finger) and forward Adam Docker (concussion, in his first game for the year back from injuries and a virus) were of concern, he didn't think the club's horror injury toll had gotten much worse as a result of the game.
"There's a couple of blokes in there we have to have a look at but I don't want to make an early call," he said.
The Panthers coach also refused to blame the injuries for the performance, despite having some young players on a steep learning curve.
"We haven't had people all year... With key players missing [it] throws out some of your combinations but as I said we've had that most of the year and we have to get on with life," he said.
"We'll hopefully have Jamie back but Matt [Moylan] is not going to be back for a long time, we're just going to have to get on with life and we can certainly do better than what we did tonight."