Panthers' pain their own doing
Penrith Panthers coach Anthony Griffin believes his side "shot themselves in the foot" the entire game despite their slim two-point loss to the Dragons on Easter Sunday.
While their 12 errors and 10 penalties in the first half hour as well as 50 missed tackles across the game perhaps more reflecting a team beaten by a cricket score Griffin was pleased with Penrith's tenacity despite their knack of forcing their hand at several points throughout the game.
"I just thought we shot ourselves in the foot all day. Our effort just kept getting us back into the game but I just thought we made some really poor decisions with the ball, particularly coming out of our own end," Griffin said.
"It was a good tough game of football. But we just kept making it tough on ourselves. I thought we did an outstanding job to get to the position we were in. Considering the work we made ourselves do in defence.
"In both halves we looked like we were going to start getting on top but we just come up with a couple of silly errors and were trying to find an offload that wasn't there. We were trying to do too much with the ball and it costs us in the end."
Griffin was able to find a silver lining amongst the pain of their third loss in their first four games of the season however.
"Obviously there was a mountain of effort going on there. We were turning up for each other defensively. The positive is in general we've got a really tough football team that's competing every week. We just need to be smarter about what we're doing," he said.
"I just felt like we never got on the right leg in attack the whole day. Just kept turning the ball over in our end and they were in front of us the whole time. It's just really hard to win from there."
Up 12-8 with six minutes on the clock Penrith's inability to handle Gareth Widdop's short kick-off following Josh Mansour's try was just another example of the attention to detail sought by the Panthers mentor.
"We have to be better at taking care of that. I thought just the whole game, it would've been a really courageous win for us, but I thought we were giving ourselves too much work to do all the time," he said.
"You leave yourself open to those things in the end if the opposition is still in range."
Meanwhile Penrith skipper Peter Wallace may find himself in hot water with suggestions he may have been concussed late in the game and failed to leave the field of play, a claim he denied in the post-game press conference.