After yet another loss for the Penrith Panthers, this time at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors, coach Matthew Elliott managed to weave his way through questions about whether or not his axing was affecting the teams on-field performances.
The loss was the Panthers third in a row, and it was the Panthers first game since the club announced that Matthew Elliott would not be the coach beyond the 2011 season.
When asked about the internal turmoil at the club, Elliott answered in his unique and witty way:
“I understand the question but you understand that I’m not going to answer it.”
Aside from that, Elliott was disappointed that in both halves, his team was forced immediately onto the back foot, courtesy of two tries by Kevin Locke.
“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.”
For the Warriors, they’ve won four out of their last five games and are on a high at the moment, with coach Ivan Cleary pleased with the way his side has performed over the last month.
“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.”
Despite the Panthers scoring two late tries to make the score respectable, he says that a team can only take so much from scoring 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.
Dally M Points
3 Kevin Locke
2 Lance Hohaia
1 James Maloney