We were own worst enemy: Griffin
It was the Panthers worst night of the year according to coach Anthony Griffin as his side succumbed 34-26 to the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The Panthers shot out to a 14-2 lead after 20 minutes and looked odds on to make it three straight wins for the first time in 2016 to solidify their spot in the top eight.
But things quickly went downhill from there as the Tigers ran in 32-unanswered points either side of half-time to seal an important eight-point win.
The Panthers were their own worst enemy for the final 60 minutes of the contest with errors and poor options in attack cruelling them at crucial times.
Having started the game so well, the Panthers finished the first half with a measly completion rate of 56 per cent, which only rose to 68 by full-time.
Their 14 errors overshadowed an otherwise statistically-dominant night with the Panthers running for 1,823 metres and producing 25 offloads in a match they should have won, according to the numbers.
Griffin blamed the closing stages of the first half for his side's self-destruction as the Tigers raced in four tries in 17 minutes before adding a fifth just after the break.
"It was the worst night for us this year, defensively. We were too loose and outplayed," he said.
"The 22 points in 15 minutes - or whatever it was just before half-time - just basically ripped the game out of our control.
"Once we got to 14-2, we never completed another set for the rest of the half. I think we turned over six in a row and a lot of them were in our own end. That invited them into our end and they've obviously got some great players and some real speed and we weren't good enough to defend that when we had to.
"Wests were scrambling really hard and we kept trying to go around the opposition and lost a lot of composure. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot.
"We just let ourselves down tonight. Defensively and offensively we didn't handle the game. Once we got to 14-2, every chance that got thrown at us after that, we weren't able to handle it. That's the disappointing part."
Panthers skipper Matt Moylan was clearly disappointed with his side's performance after their bright start.
Moylan said the team went away from what had been working so well for them in the opening 20 minutes, and that was the opening the Tigers needed.
"There were some silly mistakes that we made that cost us, and that got them back in the game," he said.
"We were in a good position at the start with some points on the board but we didn't make the most of it by keeping our foot on the throat to finish off that first half.
"We let them back into the game and we haven't really been about that of late. We’ve been able to hold sides out when they've been attacking our line, but we didn't tonight."