Panthers slump to NRL loss to Warriors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers slump to NRL loss to Warriors

01/05/2011 06:26:19 PM Comments (0)

Beleaguered Penrith coach Matthew Elliott sidestepped questions on whether his axing was affecting the team which crashed 26-18 to the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on Sunday.

The defeat was the Panthers' third in a row and came a few days after the club announced they'd be looking for a new NRL coach to take over from Elliott next season.

Asked how much the off-field turmoil was affecting the players Elliott said: "I understand the question but you understand that I'm not going to answer it."

As for the defeat, Elliott was disappointed that they had started both halves on the back foot by conceding tries to Kevin Locke, the second an 80m runaway effort.

"If you think about both of the tries we conceded at the beginning of halves it's probably indicative of what's happening with us at the moment," he said.

"We've got the right amount of effort in our footy team to do better in games, but it's the stuff that we're giving away that's hurting us, it's not what other teams are taking off us.

"To concede a try like we did at the start of the game and the one just after halftime - and we're being penalised very heavily at the moment - we're the most penalised team in the comp.

"We work pretty hard on our discipline, so it's that elusive commodity of confidence."

Self-belief is a commodity the Warriors certainly have now.

After losing their first three games, they've won four out of their last five and coach Ivan Cleary said he was happy with how the side was trucking along.

"At zero and three we were looking from the bottom up, so it was important that we sorted a few things out and we did that and have been able to make some ground in some areas we think are important," he said.

"We hit the heights in a lot of areas last week [against Melbourne], today probably wasn't as good but it was enough."

The tries from Locke either side of halftime put the Warriors on the front foot, even though Tim Grant was able to score one for the Panthers in the first half.

While the first half was tight the Warriors upped the tempo in the second 40, with Krisnan Inu and Lance Hohaia scoring to put the Warriors into an unassailable position.

While the Panthers were able to make the score respectable with tries from Trent Waterhouse and Nafe Seluni, in reality there was a bigger difference between the two sides than the eight-point final margin suggested.

Elliott said there was only so much he could take from the late consolation tries.

"We'd rather be scoring them at the beginning," he said.

"We're not giving ourselves the opportunity to do that.

"At one stage in the second half the Warriors had the ball for 26 plays and we'd had it for four. You don't compete when that happens."

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