Panther fightback proves nothing: Bennett
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has rubbished the suggestion that the late fightback by the Panthers on Thursday night is a sign of better things to come, highlighting the 28 points they conceded prior as the real area of concern.
The Panthers scored three tries in the space of eight minutes to turn a 28-0 hiding into a 28-18 contest with seven minutes to play before Matt Gillett sealed Brisbane's comprehensive 32-18 with a try in the final seconds of the game.
Penrith coach Anthony Griffin and captain Matt Moylan both cited their side's finish to the game as a positive reinforcement of the effort they are putting in but there are still clearly issues for a team touted as premiership contenders who could be sitting second-last by the end of Round 9.
With Te Maire Martin to make his return in the Intrust Super Premiership on Sunday the right halves combination is still to be proven but Bennett was adamant that a late flurry from the opposition will do little for their confidence moving forward.
"That's a bit of a fallacy to be honest with you," Bennett said.
"You don't want to be 28-0 down and fighting back. It's like starting to fight at the end of the game when you should have started at the beginning of the game.
"It's about how you start and how you play the game.
"You're not going to get a whole deal of confidence out of your last 15 minutes when the game was lost."
Penrith's completion rate only got above 60 per cent in the final few minutes of the game but Griffin saw signs of life even as the points were piling up.
He pointed out that Brisbane's first three tries came from a scrum play, an intercept and an uncontested last tackle kick and that given the amount of territory and possession enjoyed by Brisbane in the first 40 minutes that the Panthers' defence had actually held up quite well.
"It was just one of those weird games where every time we made a mistake we got scored on," Griffin said.
"I thought that our general defence was really solid but when you get an intercept and don't compete on a last play all of a sudden you're down by 10 or 16 points.
"That's just the way we're going at the moment. We're killing ourselves.
"Obviously the character they showed and the execution we showed when we got our chances at the back-end of the game, we can get a lot of confidence out of that.
"I thought we were looking dangerous all night and going about things really well.
"We were really simple at the start of the game, chewed them up in the middle and then when we started to play a bit of footy we were finding space on the edges. That came back to us in the last 20 minutes but we killed ourselves with soft points and errors up until then."
With the game all but out of reach the inspiration for Penrith's late flurry came largely from captain Matt Moylan, who had 31 touches and 22 passes in the second half compared to 12 and six in the first 40.
Finishing with six tackle busts, two line breaks, two line-break assists, a try assist and a try Moylan engineered much of Penrith's attack in the final quarter of the game and also saw positives despite the defeat.
"I thought our attack was really good the whole game," Moylan said.
"We got on the front foot quite a bit, especially in that last 20 minutes we were able to apply some pressure there and come away with putting some points on.
"I thought our attack was good which got us back into the game but it was probably a few too many points that we were chasing."