Petero backs rookies against Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Petero backs rookies against Raiders

By Joe Barton 06/09/2010 07:28:13 PM Comments (0)

Penrith skipper Petero Civoniceva has backed young props Tim Grant and Sam McKendry to take the fight to the NRL's biggest forward pack at CUA Stadium on Saturday night.

With the likes of Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (111kg), Dane Tilse (112kg), Dave Shillington (111kg) and Scott Logan (108kg), Canberra possess the most intimidating engine room in the competition.

"It's an exceptional forward pack and they've destroyed pretty much anyone they've come up against over the last couple of months, it's going to be a huge challenge," Civoniceva said.

But the game's best prop believes his young team-mates will more than hold their own, despite his absence.

Civoniceva will miss the Panthers' home final as he serves the second and final match of his high tackle suspension picked up against the Bulldogs last Monday night.

And while the big unit admits he will be a nervous spectator, he has 100 per cent faith in 22-year-old Grant and 21-year-old McKendry to do the job.

"I'd love to have been out there, but the young guys who have filled in my role, especially Tim Grant and McKendry our two young frontrowers, have been tremendous all season," he explained.

The 34-year-old warhorse revealed that it was the club's booming young talent that convinced him to extend his career at the Panthers rather than return home to Brisbane.

"The bond amongst the group, we're great mates, and I think there's that realisation there that we've got some tremendous young guys.

"As skipper it's important to stay strong and stay as a club and now we're getting some rewards from it."

Penrith will enter the match on a high after flogging the lowly Cronulla Sharks 50-12 without their skipper.

"For us it was more focussed on ourselves and our performance and what we needed out of the performance."

"I think a good indication of our attitude was how we came out in the second half and we had a good lead going into half-time.

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