Try-hungry Blake vows to become more 'involved'

Waqa Blake scored a try last week against the Sharks – his first for 2019.

The hard-to-pin-down Panthers centre scored 14 last year – in just 16 games. And don't forget he missed 11 weeks with a syndesmosis injury.

By round four in 2018 he had four tries. His first in 2019 came in round six, which on reflection makes his slow-ish start to the Telstra Premiership season a little symptomatic of his team.

Penrith scored just six tries in the opening four rounds this year. For the corresponding period last year they had 13.

They sit in 12th spot on the NRL ladder with a 2-4 record. A loss at Penrith Stadium on Friday night against the Rabbitohs would be their third in a row.

"Maybe I was a little lucky last year. Its early days and sometimes you will have quiet times in touching the ball or even scoring tries," Blake said.

"It was good to cross the line last weekend. I want to be a centre who gets involved and [coach Ivan Cleary] has spoken to me about doing that.

"Sometimes you don’t get the ball how you like it and you've just got to go look for it."

The last two rounds Penrith has found a bit more in attack: four tries against the Titans and then three against the Sharks, although they lost both games.

"It's on us – there's no-one else to blame," Blake said.

"Even with our wins we've just sort of scraped over. So there's no better time to turn things around. This is the perfect game for it playing a red-hot Rabbitohs side.

"I don't think it's a confidence thing. It's just on us. We know what we need to do but we keep falling away towards the end."

Another hindrance for Friday's match, when it comes to trying to score more points, is losing Blake's centre partner Dean Whare (hamstring).

"It isn't good but with the talent we've got we'll be able to do it," said Blake, who trained on the right early in the week but has been named on the left to face South Sydney.

Fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has been named at right centre with Caleb Aekins being brought up from Canterbury Cup for his second NRL game.

"I'll play anywhere the team needs me as long as I play well there," Blake said.

"I grew up playing on the right but being able to play on the left I have Jimmy [Maloney], Sauce [Josh Mansour] and Kicks [Viliame Kikau] helping me.

"On the right I have Isaah Yeo and while they're both different players, they are both strike back rowers in my opinion.

"You don't want to be able to play only one side. You want to give as much as you can to the team so wherever they need me I'll play."

Blake will face second rower-turned centre Kyle Turner, due to Braidon Burns ankle-hamstring injuries.

"Obviously he's a back rower but they have faith in him to put him in the centres and I've been watching a couple of his games," Blake said.

"He doesn't over-play his hand so he's done well. He'll be a big body running at me but I'll be ready for it."