Panthers go 3D for finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers go 3D for finals

By Steve Jancetic 21/08/2010 01:19:41 PM Comments (0)

Penrith fans might want to get themselves a pair of special glasses for the NRL finals series, because the Panthers are going 3D.

Sick of being labelled a one trick pony whose only avenue to the tryline was via the boot of halfback Luke Walsh, the Panthers have taken it upon themselves to add some variety to their attack.

It was meant to be a work in progress but against South Sydney on Friday night they produced the full repertoire in reinvigorated their finals campaign with a devastating 54-18 win at CUA Stadium.

No longer were the Panthers just kick-happy, they were pass-happy and run-happy and it didn't matter where they were on the field.

"We had to add some things to our game, there's no doubt about that, but we also didn't want to lose what people have been harping on about as well," said Panthers coach Matthew Elliott, who admitted the performance had more to do with the work of his pack than the creativity of his playmakers.

"I think we saw some of it ... you can work on attack but it's the intent behind the carry that makes all the difference, it's not really the strategy.

"I thought tonight was the first time in a while where, particularly in that first half, we were carrying the ball with a heap of intent and we were pretty hard to arrest."

Lock Luke Lewis claimed the biggest difference between the past six weeks and Friday night was confidence, which grew with each of the seven unanswered tries in the first half.

Having gone back to the drawing board with the side's attack, Lewis said it was good to see the fruits of the labour on the scoreboard.

"The last couple of weeks we've been working on (our attack) but it just hasn't come together for us, but tonight it really came together for us," Lewis said.

"It was good to get across the line just throwing the ball around and having a bit of fun, but (kicking) is something we won't go away from.

"We'll keep putting the ball up and if we keep coming down with it and scoring tries it will be nice."

South coach John Lang suggested there was little his side could do to stop the Panthers juggernaut.

The loss had seemingly ended Souths' finals hopes but Brisbane's loss to Newcastle means they will still finish the weekend just two points out of the eight with two matches remaining.

Whether they can pick themselves up off the canvas after such a lacklustre display in time for next week's crunch game against Parramatta is another matter.

"To me the essence doesn't change, whether you're on top of the ladder, whether you're on the bottom of the ladder or two points out of the eight," Lang said.

"You prepare the best you can and you do the best you can and that's the way I'll approach next week."

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