Panthers drop Soward from first grade
James Segeyaro's recent plight has shifted gears and produced another high profile scalp following news Jamie Soward has been dropped to the Intrust Super Premiership.
Soward, who spoke to the media on Tuesday prior to news of his demotion, said Segeyaro and pretty much everyone bar skipper Matt Moylan had a shaky footing in the team following two disappointing losses to the Titans and the Storm.
The veteran playmaker will play at Pepper Stadium on Saturday afternoon instead of heading to Brookvale Oval for Sunday afternoon's NRL Telstra Premiership clash against the Sea Eagles.
Bryce Cartwright has been named at five-eighth to partner rookie Nathan Cleary with Moses Leota now set to make his NRL debut from the interchange bench.
"If you're not winning and you don't perform - we're all under the gun. Me included," Soward said on Tuesday afternoon.
"There's no excuses here. We have a lot of depth now and we have a lot of young guys coming through and Chicko (Segeyaro) accepted that."
It's now news Soward himself will have to accept, with Segeyaro expected to overcome a groin injury in time to partner him in the Panthers' reserve grade side.
Soward was under no illusions over his own disappointing showing in Melbourne in the Panthers' eventual 24-6 loss to the Storm.
"We went down there and started well but we were very disappointed by how we finished. We had chances there and I didn't really perform to the game plan that the coach wanted," he admitted.
"I probably let us down there especially with the young halves. It's disappointing. The buck stops with me so I now have to move on."
Cleary's NRL debut in Melbourne excited Soward however, who was otherwise buoyed by the 18-year-old's debut after he made a whopping 38 tackles.
"[Cleary] wasn't thrown into the deep end. If you're ready, you're ready. He played outstanding on Saturday night," Soward said.
"He's a quiet kid but he runs the ball well. Obviously his defence is pretty good. He's only 18 too. He's an up-and-comer so it's nice to have him and Te Maire (Martin) as the young kids coming up, playing grade and getting a chance."