Panthers prove doubters wrong

Anthony Griffin believes Penrith's win over the Raiders rates amongst their best of the season in an otherwise unconvincing seven-game winning streak. 

Some have questioned the Panthers' ability against top eight sides after victories against the Cowboys (injuries) and Sea Eagles (14-4 penalty count) helped in their favour.

However there was no questioning their performance against the Raiders, who had their season on the line after an underachieving season. 


The Panthers have struggled in the nation's capital since 2013 but secured their second win to cement their place in the finals and remind the rest of the competition of their dark horse potential.

"It was obviously one of our best efforts under the circumstances – the penalty count and weight of possession against us in the second half," Griffin said post-game. 

"At this time of the year when you're playing quality sides away from home you have to be able to hold your hands up defensively and overcome a lot of obstacles.

"Part of our focus was it was going to get really ugly at times with penalty counts and the size and strength of opposition coming at us and it turned out exactly how we thought it would.

"To be able to withstand all that is a real credit to all the boys."

Penrith's unheralded men were again among their best with Waqa Blake bamboozling Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker and utility Tyrone May scoring the match-winner late in the contest.

"It was smart play for him, their line defence was really good and were getting to Matt and Nathan," Griffin said of May's effort.

"It was exactly what we needed, obviously. He's been playing well whenever he got his chance. He's a good kid and [Sione] Katoa has been going really well too. Sione can play lock or hooker so it gives us versatility with Tyrone capable as well.

"Having that versatility has helped in the last few weeks."

Despite a flurry of momentum in the Raiders' favour, Griffin was most impressed with the side taking advantage of limited field position when it mattered.

Penrith now sit comfortable in sixth position with clashes against St George Illawarra and the Sea Eagles to come.

"As a football team we had a chance to win it at our own right and then had to win it again when they surged at us," he said.

"We'll take a lot of confidence out of that.

"We've put a few in a row now and they haven't all been pretty but they're getting better the way we're winning. It's the old cliché, we've just got to dust ourselves off and prepare for St George. 

"If you're still standing in three weeks time you're going ok."