Te Maire Martin with Panthers fans following his NRL debut heroics.

Panthers v Broncos: Five key points

Te Maire Martin justified the hype with a debut for the ages, scoring a try and kicking a late field goal to hand the Broncos their first loss of 2016. The key points to come from Penrith's tight victory over Brisbane.

Report: Martin field goal sinks Broncos

 

 

Panthers bounce back from last week's heartbreak

The Panthers have recovered from last week's nail-biting loss to the Bulldogs in the best way possible, knocking off the 2015 grand finalists with some late heroics of their own.

Penrith coach Anthony Griffin was pleased with his side's resolve, especially after blowing a good lead late on their home patch in Round 2. 

'Hook' credited his side for not throwing in the towel after falling behind 22-6 in the first-half, and hopes Saturday night's comeback will kick-start their 2016 campaign. 

"It's a lot better than last week when we earned a win but didn't get the points," Griffin said.

"I was just really happy for the players tonight that they got to experience a win because it was heartbreaking for them last week. 

"It's just a real show of courage from them that they were able to bounce back and find that effort in the second half tonight.

"Like the players I was very disappointed last week and how we lost that game. We just spoke this week about bouncing back from that. We lost our way early, but in the end when we got our chance, we took it."

Broncos must regroup before grand final replay

After losing their first game of 2016, the Broncos are now preparing to take on the last side who beat them, the Cowboys, in a grand final replay at Suncorp Stadium next Friday night.

Broncos skipper Corey Parker says the side will need to improve ahead of the mouth-watering clash, but believes that'd be the case no matter who they were due to face. 

"For us it's no different regardless of who we're playing," Parker said.

"We want to get back to the standards we set ourselves and that we pride ourselves on. It's obviously going to be a big game against the Cowboys, but we're not too worried about them. We'll just worry about what we're going to do."

"You play like that against anyone and we'll be sitting here having the same conversation. We'll go back to training, we'll have a good preparation and we'll give it our best against the Cowboys. You're not going to win every game this year, but you certainly don't want to give a team an easy run like we did there tonight."

Griffin remains coy on Martin

Anthony Griffin must be a great poker player, because the Penrith mentor wasn't giving much away about his game-winning five-eighth Te Maire Martin.

Griffin told the rookie on Friday morning that he was set to make his NRL debut in front of his home fans, and would have been ecstatic with what he saw.

Martin had a debut like no other, scoring his side's game-levelling try, before knocking over the field goal to give Penrith its first win of 2016.

While some Panthers fans are dubbing Martin the 'messiah', Griffin wants to see more from his playmaker before he is ready to dish out any high praise. 

"He's had one game. He went alright. It's his first game. He's obviously done a great job. It's a great night for him, but he's got to string a few together." 

He couldn't even confirm whether Martin would play next week against the Dragons, saying: "We'll have a look."

Broncos need to win the tight ones

The Broncos haven't lost too many games with Wayne Bennett back at the helm. But the statistics suggest when they do, they tend to be heartbreakers.

Brisbane's last two losses have been decided by field goals right at the death, while the Broncos also suffered a pair of two-point losses to the Bulldogs and Roosters in Rounds 22 and 24 last season. 

Given how experienced their roster is, the nature of their losses has been quite surprising.

History repeats at Pepper Stadium

For the second time in three years, the Panthers have beaten the Broncos at Pepper Stadium through a last-gasp field goal.

Matt Moylan was the hero in Round 18, 2014, slotting a last-minute field goal to sink the Broncos 35-34.

Just like the play on Saturday night, Soward had initially received the ball, before dishing it back to his less experienced teammate to knock over the match-winning point. 

Penrith skipper Peter Wallace said the halves simply played what was in front of them, and was pleased with the composure shown by both men.

"'Sowie' [Jamie Soward] and 'T' [Te Maire Martin] set that up well. They knew the ball was going to Sowie first, so the pressure came to him, and gave T a bit of time. I thought the set up was very good. I thought that set was really composed and we got in a great spot to slot it over," Wallace said. 

Moylan has missed the first three rounds of the season through injury, but his coach revealed he was likely to return next week against the Dragons. 

"At this stage, yeah. It's never for sure," Griffin said.

"He's had the back injury, but he's felt the best he's ever felt this week and he's trained a couple of times at the backend of this week. So hopefully he will be back."