Cap drama 'non-issue': Panthers captain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cap drama 'non-issue': Panthers captain

By David Beniuk 23/04/2010 05:50:01 PM Comments (0)

Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva says the Melbourne Storm salary cap bombshell is a "non-issue" for other NRL players just trying to get on with this weekend's round of footy.

When Penrith host the Wests Tigers in the shadow of the Blue Mountains, they'll also be running out in the shadow of one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the game.

"We addressed it when we found out about it, that it wasn't going to factor in our preparation," Civoniceva told AAP.

"It's a non-issue for us.

"As a group, we've decided that that's something that is completely out of our control, our focus is hopefully walking away with two points on the weekend and that's it."

It's a message that will be hammered home by at least 14 other NRL coaches this weekend, but the Panthers have plenty to play for having surprised many by shooting to second place on the ladder.

A win over the injury-hit Tigers, who they have beaten in 10 of their last 12 meetings, would be their fourth straight after last Sunday's 40-12 thrashing of the Warriors in Auckland.

"Slowly we are building confidence," Civoniceva said.

"At the start of the season we showed glimpses of what we were capable of but, probably in the last couple of performances, we've gone a long way towards executing our game-plan for 80 minutes and defending the way we know we can defend."

The Tigers have been boosted by the news that captain Robbie Farah will play through an elbow injury, while giant prop Keith Galloway returns from a shoulder problem.

Queensland veteran Civoniceva said talk of Galloway as a NSW State of Origin candidate was on the money.

"His form to start the season has been tremendous and definitely warrants all the talk about a possible opportunity to represent NSW," Civoniceva said.

"I don't think he'd look out of place, that's for sure.

"For a big man, he has a huge work rate and is a real key for them."

The Storm will also play some footy this weekend, against the Warriors on Sunday, and Civoniceva - an Origin and Test team-mate of Greg Inglis, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith among others - has no doubt about how they will approach a game from which they can't earn points.

"They've always been a very strong outfit in terms of the mateship and the bonds that they have," he said.

"Most definitely this is a huge test for them but I just know how close they are as a group and they'll be out to win on the weekend for sure."

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