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Stealth-like Panthers 'fly under radar' as they make steady rise

Penrith five-eighth Jarome Luai says the third-placed Panthers are happily "flying under the radar" as they aim to cement themselves as a consistent force.

Last weekend's impressive win against the Storm was a "massive confidence boost", according to Luai, adding to a bag of major scalps that also includes premiers Sydney Roosters.

"We're just flying under the radar a bit and each week we're looking to get better and better," Luai said.

"We've had a pretty tough run with all of these big teams coming up. Each week's been the same, we're going to compete hard and do our best and just build each week. We're going pretty good."

The next challenge is the in-form Rabbitohs on Thursday night at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah.

Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards, who played his first match since September last week after shrugging off injury concerns, said it was imperative for the side to "back up our performances".

Match Highlights: Panthers v Storm

"We don't want to be a team that fades in one week and goes well in another. We want to be a consistent team throughout the competition," he said.

Edwards suffered a syndesmosis injury in the pre-season before the competition was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He then had to overcome a hamstring strain to finally suit up again.

The No.1 produced 157 metres and a try assist in his comeback.

"I was nervous to play - I didn't realise it was 10 months. I didn’t know exactly how I'd fit in," Edwards said.

Luai: Panthers fly under the radar

"I hoped I'd go well with the increased ruck speed and all that. I assumed there'd be a little bit of rust there and hopefully I'm better for the run."

Luai credited Edwards with making "a big difference".

"Dyl's energy out there was really good for the boys and as you can see in the way we played, we really missed Dyl," Luai said.

Personally, Luai hasn't been unnerved by young gun Matt Burton nipping at his heels to partner Nathan Cleary in the halves.

Burton and Luai combined when Cleary was suspended in rounds three and four, with the younger playmaker's standout display against the Warriors leading some to say he deserved to start full-time.

"I've been pretty cool about it," Luai said.

"My mindset is just play as hard as I can, do whatever I can to get the win, really nail my role within the team, and everything will take care of itself.

"That's all social media and everyone has different opinions here and there. 

"My main focus is the team rather than personal sort of things."