Gower gets Panthers back on track - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gower gets Panthers back on track

By Laine Clark 17/07/2004 08:57:00 PM Comments (0)

A video and a rejuvenated Craig Gower combined to help the Panthers arrest a worrying slide with a record-equalling 42-8 NRL win over the Canberra Raiders at Penrith Stadium.

After dropping four of their last six games including two straight, Panthers coach John Lang headed to the video library and plucked out a round four 22-6 win over the Sydney Roosters "to remind them that they could win".

Then NSW halfback Gower - finally back after a seven week battle with a knee injury - provided his own highlights package on the field, chiming into six of Penrith's eight tries in a masterful performance that lit up the frosty conditions.

It equalled its biggest win over Canberra - a 42-8 win in 1982 - but there was still plenty to worry about for Lang.

In his first game in six weeks, centre Ryan Girdler marked his 200th game for Penrith by aggravating an ankle injury in the 62nd minute and backrower Joe Galavao (rib) is also in serious doubt.

Penrith forwards Joel Clinton and Ben Ross could be in trouble as well after going on report for a 35th minute lifting tackle on Jason Croker.

But Lang was more concerned with the way the defending premiers reminded him of the impressive round four win over the Sydney Roosters.

"We had a look at a game against the Roosters earlier in the season just to remind ourselves we can play well ... that game tonight reminded me of that sort of form," he said.

"I did a 15 minute edited tape of it to have a look ... when you are playing badly you can't remember what it was like when you are playing well.

"And obviously having Craig back and Ryan, those experienced players ... even gave the guys confidence at training during the week."

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