Panthers coach Ivan Cleary admits his side could be without back-rower Isaah Yeo for the immediate future after he was forced from the field in Friday night's loss to the Titans.
The loss keeps the Panthers in 11th spot with just two wins from their first five games and with Cleary lamenting a lack of consistency.
On a number of occasions on Friday night as their big forwards rumbled downfield and they tested the Titans' edge defence, Penrith looked destined to extend Gold Coast's losing streak to start the season.
They hit back with two quick tries after trailing 18-12 at half-time yet couldn't put a desperate Titans team away. The game was ultimately decided by a penalty try awarded to former Panther Bryce Cartwright.
It was at that point that Yeo left the field clutching at his left shoulder and Cleary admitted the early prognosis was not good.
Match Highlights: Titans v Panthers
"It's obviously a bit of a problem," a despondent Cleary said.
"He's had ongoing shoulder complaints. This time it's not feeling so good, so cross our fingers on that one."
With pressure mounting at the foot of the mountains, last week's 9-8 win over the Wests Tigers provided a timely release.
Ahead of a showdown with the Sharks next Thursday night, it will build again quickly and Cleary lambasted his players for an inability to be consistent in both attack and defence.
"It wasn't great. We've got a long way to go in terms of being able to play consistently for 80 minutes either side of the ball. That was our biggest issue tonight," Cleary offered.
"We were up at 6-0 and then an error, three penalties in a row. The same thing happened when we went up by six in the second half, penalty coming out of yardage again. Both times, in the end, we couldn't defend those errors either.
"I thought we had every reason a couple of times tonight to be able to go on with it but through a whole bunch of different things we can't quite be consistent enough."
NRL Stats credited Penrith with 67 missed tackles compared to Gold Coast's 19, more than double the number they were guilty of against the Wests Tigers.
"I gotta say that's a bit of a shock," was Cleary’s blunt assessment.
"It just shows that we're not consistent enough in that area. We certainly weren’t tonight. There were periods of good defence too but we can’t maintain it."
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