Wests Tigers prop Russell Packer.

Tigers struggle for rhythm in loss to Panthers

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary said it was a case of no territory and no possession resulting in not much in the way of positive play in the second half of his side's 16-2 loss to the Panthers on Thursday night.

The joint venture club failed to make the most of an 8-2 penalty count early on - they even conceded their first try while enjoying a numerical advantage on the field following the sin-binning of Trent Merrin in the 21st minute.

"It was a game [where] we never found rhythm in our attack," Cleary said.

"I didn't think our kicking game was great. We started OK but the rush of penalties didn't allow us to find any rhythm and their line speed did the same thing. They [Penrith] could smell the game.

"We got a lot of penalties in succession on their line and couldn't capitalise. In the second half they just had the whole run of play. We were under the pump for a long time."

The hosts were denied three second half tries, with the visitors forced to defend their line against an in-control Panthers outfit.

"They applied a lot of pressure to us," Cleary said.

"Not many [opposition] teams are going to get two points out here [in Penrith].''

Cleary admitted his son Nathan looked strong for the opposition despite missing the past eight weeks with a knee injury.

"He looked threatening, he didn't look short of a gallop," he said.

The Wests Tigers have lost four of their last five matches after a strong start to the year.