Wests Tigers left to rue chances
Three bombed tries from the Wests Tigers in the opening half against the Panthers has left Jason Taylor's men with plenty of work to do ahead of their Round 3 Telstra Premiership clash with the Canberra Raiders.
The Tigers let slip multiple opportunities to take control of the game early, but several errors attacking the line and a below-par performance from halves Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses left the joint venture with a 36-2 loss against the Panthers.
Outside backs Moses Suli and James Tedesco both spilled the ball attempting to get it down at crucial stages of the game, and Moses' pass to an unmarked David Nofoaluma was ruled forward after the Tigers were on an early roll and looked the better side for the first 20 minutes.
With possession at 50-50 between the two sides, it left Taylor's outfit scratching their heads at where it all went wrong after the Panthers piled on six unanswered tries.
"It's a day that we're struggling to put our finger on a little, to be honest," Taylor said.
"The first 25 to 30 minutes were good and we were fighting hard and in the game but then we gave Penrith a few opportunities and chances, and they made us pay.
"We simply didn't take what was available to us.
"We had a few tries disallowed, but what was disappointing was those turning into a seven tackle set and simply giving far too much opportunity and field position.
"We didn't handle it well enough when we had to. It's not good enough but we're not as far off as it looks today."
The performances of halves Brooks and Moses came under fire post-game, but Taylor was quick to defend the duo and was confident in their ability as a combination to bounce back in Canberra.
"Both these guys have shown that they're first graders through long periods of their career. Mitch Moses' consistency at the back half of last year was great and Luke Brooks has done it before," Taylor said.
"Everybody wanted to say that Brooks was struggling last year and he had an injury. He's (Brooks) shown me that he's an NRL first grader.
"Form goes up and down and both boys' wasn't what we want today, but they know how to get that right next week."
Wests Tigers skipper Aaron Woods was a shining light in his side's loss, conjuring up over 20 runs for over 150 metres, but said his own personal performance meant little when the result went against them.
"I thought we did well for that first 25-30, but we couldn't get over the line," Woods said.
"And where we did give the ball away or kicked it dead and dropping it over the line, it just allowed Penrith to get on the front foot and we couldn't handle it.
"We had opportunities but just couldn't convert and then match it with them."