Maloney concedes win over Raiders wasn't pretty
A sense of irony fills the room when Penrith five-eighth James Maloney describes his team's heart-stopping 23-22 win over the Canberra Raiders as far from pretty.
Looking worse for wear even before the opening whistle with a blackened left eye after backing up from State of Origin just 48 hours ago, Maloney paid tribute to his side's determination.
It was that grit that saw the Panthers claw their way back into the contest when they trailed by 10 with 17 minutes remaining.
"It wasn't a pretty win but at the end of the day it's two points, we'll take it, review, it and move onto next week," Maloney said.
"I think you get a lot out of the way it happened, going down by 10 points or 12 points with 17 to go and being able to claw it back.
"I think when you find yourself in similar situations that gives you confidence but performance-wise it wasn't that flash from us. But when it counted the boys did what needed to be done."
All four of Penrith's Origin stars shone for the most part, most notably Tyrone Peachey who made the most of his limited playing time in Melbourne to torch the Raiders defenders and score two tries.
The Penrith centre ran for 134 metres from 18 runs and made four line-breaks on his way to scoring his double.
"It was a tough win and we weren't at our best tonight but that last 15 minutes I was really proud of them how they came back and pulled themselves out of the fire," Penrith coach Anthony Griffin said.
"Peachey had a great game and Jimmy (Maloney) and Nathan (Cleary) won the game when it was in the balance and came up with some big plays."
The win did come at a cost for Penrith, with talented back-rower Viliame Kikau set to miss up to six weeks after suffering a knee injury in the first half.
"He might have a grade two medial [ligament], four to six weeks but we'll find that out tomorrow," Griffin said.
"He can't quite remember himself [when it happened]. It wasn't until he came off at half-time and cooled down a little bit and the doctor had a look at it and it was a bit loose."
Raiders bench forward Charlie Gubb was placed in report for a tackle on Cleary while in the air after a clearing kick.
Griffin did not want to weigh into the incident saying he will wait for the match review committee to take a closer look at the incident.
"I'd have to have to have a look at it, I caught it out of the corner of my eye the referees put it on report, so we'll just wait and let them sort that out," he said.
"The rules are there to protect them and the refs enforced that tonight. It'sfine line, kick pressure is part of the game, but obviously thought it was serious enough to put onreport."