Knights crush lacklustre Panthers outfit

With the Penrith Panthers clearly struggling in their first round clash, whilst the onus is on the players to perform, coach Matthew Elliot has also shouldered some of the blame for the heavy loss.

You would have thought that finishing 2nd in 2010 would have some bearing on the way that Penrith play in 2011, but clearly, this was not the case, as they committed a staggering 21 errors, and were caught off-side in front of the kicker 3 times.

Clearly it was not the Panthers night as they just looked like they did not want to be there at times, but Elliot, valiantly, shouldered some of the blame for the shellacking.

“When a team shows a lack of discipline that we showed today and a lack of execution collectively, the responsibility for that needs to come my way,” said a disappointed Elliott post-match.

“The focus needs to be a little more on our preparation rather than what the players did out there today.

“We’ve got a week to make sure we get that right.

“If we don’t take the lesson we’re going to be in this situation again.”

Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva responded immediately however, when he said that the players were the ones at fault, and they need to re-evaluate where they stand before they head into the local derby next week with the Parramatta Eels.

“In terms of attitude it was just not good enough. There is only so much the coach can do for us,” he said.

“What happened on the field, there are 17 guys that are responsible for that.”

Although they are not getting too carried away by their big win, the Knights have taken a great deal of confidence out of the game, led by halfback Jarrod Mullen, who was in fine form as usual.

Injuries have again plagued the NRL players though, with Kurt Gidley suffering back spasms, and Neville Costigan out with a suspected broken arm. He will be out for 2 months.

In the press conference, Stone said that Gidley is a slim chance of playing, but ruled out any chance Costigan has of playing again any time soon.

“We were the dominant side and the score reflected the situation,” said Stone.

“Probably at times Penrith made us look a little better than we were – they weren’t anywhere near their best – but we’ve been working on a good, relentless 80-minute performance.

“We showed a few things today … although one swallow doesn’t make a summer.”

Dally M Points

3 Jarrod Mullen
2 Junior Sau’u
1 Kurt Gidley

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