You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Waqa keen to make amends after disciplinary demotion

Penrith centre Waqa Blake has apologised and taken blame for last week's loss to the Wests Tigers for failing to turn up to training on time before the team flew to Brisbane.

An honest Blake said he deserved to be left out of Ivan Cleary's final 17 and was desperate to make amends for his ill-discipline by earning respect back from teammates, coaching staff and fans.

Blake misread the schedule and turned up to the final training run an hour late before being omitted from the squad by Cleary in the afternoon.

"It was a bit of everything … frustrated, disappointed. I let the teammates and staff down, and especially the fans. It just wasn't good enough," Blake said.

"We have standards that we put in place at the start of the year and I was in the wrong and I'll own it. I just misread the schedule, it doesn't matter what it is, I was late at the end of the day and it wasn't good enough.

"We're all professionals, I've just got to be better. I owe it to my teammates, staff, my family. I want to put in a good performance for my teammates around me."

Panthers v Warriors - Round 10

Blake watched the Panthers slump to their fifth consecutive loss from his family home in Sydney's west and believed his late omission was a catalyst to the result.

The late change forced back-rower Tyrell Fuimaono to slot into the centres and the Wests Tigers exploited the right edge early in the first half to race out to a 26-0 lead.

"I watched it all the way through, it doesn't matter what happens I'll always support my teammates," Blake said.

"I put it back to myself, I thought I disrupted the preparation a lot so I can't put it on the boys.

"It just wasn't our day and hasn't been for a couple of weeks."

Blake will return for Friday night's crucial clash against the Warriors in Penrith with the side looking to avoid a dreaded 2-8 start to the season.

The Fijian international is hopeful of returning to the left edge to work alongside Viliame Kikau and debutant Brian To'o, who will replace Josh Mansour on the wing.

Blake said it was time for the players to stand up after letting coach Ivan Cleary down in recent weeks, while adding finals football should remain everyone's goal.

"It's always there, we never give up. The best thing to do is take the good things out of what we've done, work hard this week and start from there.

"I think it's on us as players to step up and start playing some good footy."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners