'We were all over them': Henry
Gold Coast Titans coach Neil Henry insists the Panthers were on the right side of luck after their 24-16 loss on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors contained a lacklustre attack from Penrith in the opening half before coming up with two crucial errors in the middle of the contest that enabled the home side to gain the ascendency at crucial stages in the match.
Gold Coast halves Tyrone Roberts and Ash Taylor were both guilty of coming up with errors that led to Panthers outside backs Waqa Blake and Matt Moylan racing away to score against the run of play.
"We gifted two tries – threw an intercept and conceded points in possession when we lost the ball and they swooped on it," Henry said post-game.
"In the end that's what the game is."
Despite a weight of possession against them, Henry believed the Gold Coast were the better side in an evenly shaped contest.
"We worked real hard and were all over them. [They had] a 6-2 penalty count in the second half and 60 per cent possession to them," he said.
"[Nathan] Cleary's got a nice short kicking game and really put us under the pump with goal line drop-outs but we defended back-to-back sets there a couple of times and it didn't seem to worry us. I thought our defensive commitment to the game was very good for large parts of it.
"We don't get the points but what we take out of that game is we can certainly compete against a side that's on the up as well."
Despite a finals berth appearing a long shot, Titans captain Ryan James remained hopeful the side could still feature after their three-game winning streak came to an end.
They'll need to win at least five of their remaining six games to reach the estimate requirement for finals football, 28 competition points.
"If we keep playing consistently and playing the way we did defensively [we can get there]," James said.
"We didn't get the run of play tonight with 50-50 calls that never went our way. It's an uphill battle but we're going to compete until the end."
Meanwhile, Konrad Hurrell could have played his final game of the 2017 season after leaving the field in the first half with a hamstring injury.
The 25-year-old is expected to have scans when the team heads back to the Gold Coast on Sunday.
"It hurt us a bit, he's certainly a big part of our momentum and took a bit of spark out of our attack," Henry said.
"I thought Kevin Proctor and Joe Greenwood did a good job on that side of the field though, but at the end of the day we weren't good enough."