Panthers undertake mid-season review of football operations
The Penrith Panthers are undertaking a mid-season review of the club's football operations, including the performance of coach Anthony Griffin.
NRL.com understands Panthers general manager Phil Gould is in the process of evaluating the team's performance and looking for ways to ensure they capitalise on a promising start to the season.
It is believed Gould and Panthers assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo will take on a more hands-on approach for the remainder of the season.
As part of the review, recently retired hooker Peter Wallace has also been promoted to assistant coach.
On Channel Nine on Monday night Gould said the review did not examine the coaching role.
"We're not entering into a review, the review was done two weeks ago ... and it had nothing to do with the coaching role whatsoever," Gould said on 100% Footy.
There's a belief from some at the club that Griffin has taken the team to a certain level and may not be the right man to take the next step.
The Panthers last year extended Griffin's contract until the end of 2020, however it's understood Ciraldo is being groomed as his successor.
Depending on how the rest of the season pans out, that could be as soon as next year.
It's understood Griffin has been asked to alter the way he coaches.
The Panthers sit in fourth position after 16 rounds of the Telstra Premiership, however the performances and results during the past month – in particular their last two games – have raised alarm bells.
They were beaten 32-6 by the Sydney Roosters with all their Origin stars before game two. Then they backed it up with arguably their most uninspiring performance of the season in the loss to Manly at Panthers Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Gould is no stranger to making the tough decisions. He removed former Panthers coach Ivan Cleary at the end of 2015. He also hasn't been afraid to move players on when he believes their time is up.
The club is hopeful of keeping halfback Nathan Cleary at the club beyond the end of 2019 and are well aware of the impact the coach could have on that decision given a potential defection to the Tigers to play under his father, Ivan.
Ciraldo coached Cleary in the club's premiership-winning under 20s season in 2015.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of NRL.com or the NRL or its clubs.