Panthers are fast starters: Lang - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers are fast starters: Lang

By Brent Read 02/10/2003 09:12:32 PM Comments (0)

Penrith coach John Lang isn't worried about his side being slow out of the blocks in Sunday night's National Rugby League grand final - and with good reason.

The Panthers, despite popular opinion, have been among the fastest starters in the NRL this season.

The minor premier has led 16 of its 26 games in 2003 after the opening 20 minutes - a figure which stands up well against Sunday's opponents, the Sydney Roosters.

The defending premier has led only 11 of its 26 games after the same period of time.

No wonder Lang was playing down the importance of a fast start and talking up how vital it was to play two solid halves.

"The key is you have to play strongly for the 80 minutes," Lang said.

"Every period is just as important but you can't play the 80 minutes out if you don't start strongly.

"Any side I have been involved in, over a period of time you have those patches where you start slowly or you have dead patches in the middle.

"I think the real challenge rather than worrying about starting slow, the real challenge is to play the game right out.

"You're not going to be on top all the time.

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