Puletua warns Panthers over complacency - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Puletua warns Panthers over complacency

By Ian McCullough 31/07/2009 06:35:16 PM Comments (0)

Penrith prop Frank Puletua says last weekend's superb 28-20 NRL victory over North Queensland will count for nothing if the Panthers fail to beat the Warriors at CUA Stadium on Saturday.

Matt Elliott's side sits in fifth spot on the ladder and are on the cusp of their first finals appearance since 2004, but Puletua said underestimating a 13th-placed Warriors side, that is out of finals contention, could cost the Panthers.

"I know what it is like to be playing in a team that has nothing to play for going into the final weeks of the season with no hope of making the semis, and I know just how the Warriors players will be approaching the game," he told AAP.

"There will be players playing for their futures and maybe new contracts and looking to put in a big performance and if we are not professional and on top of our game then we could be beaten and all that hard work in Townsville will be for nothing.

"Already we have put that game behind us, and we are expecting a tough battle against the Warriors, who, I believe, are in a false position on the ladder."

Puletua also said there had been no talk of a top-four finish around the club and said the team was happy to be seen as the surprise package of the season.

"We have worked hard on certain areas of our game and believe we are improving week by week, but we won't get ahead of ourselves just yet, I have been around long enough to know complacency will come back and bite you," the 31-year-old said.

"We don't really care what people think about us, we are just worried about our games and the rest will take care of itself."

The Panthers have had to cope with the loss of inspirational skipper Petero Civoniceva and also talismanic utility Luke Lewis for the last six weeks, but Puletua revealed the captain was still heavily involved around the team.

"Petero is our leader and he has still been around, talking and advising at training, we are lucky to have him," Puletua said.

"However, we have shown that we have players who have can step up and do a job when the likes of Luke Lewis and Petero are injured and that has been really pleasing."

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