Anthony Griffin Speaks Out on Panthers Narrow Miss

After being narrowly beaten by the Sydney Roosters, coach Anthony Griffin has been outspoken about his team’s 14-12 loss. Griffin has said that he wasn’t convinced the better side had won, but that he’d rather focus on the positives following the Penrith Panthers defeat.

The game seemed very evenly matched the whole way through, but a contentious late four-pointer by Michael Gordon, the Rooster’s fullback, put the visiting team ahead by 2 points. Griffin says that his team’s luck ran out and after several 50-50 calls failed and a strong defensive effort thwarted many of their plays, the Roosters were a hair’s breadth ahead.

Post game, Griffin said: “Obviously we got beat with points on the scoreboard but I thought it was a really good effort and something we can build on.”

He added that the Penrith Panthers had simply gotten unlucky, but at this level in the sport, it happens.

A Question of Ball Possession

During the game the Roosters had possession of the ball 58% of the time, and Griffin said that to win, you needed to have a strong defensive team. He feels that this is where the Penrith Panthers fell short as they got a few technical things wrong, but they will build on this and try harder next time.

He applauded forwards James Tamou, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Trent Merrin for all contributing to the high numbers, and said that their performance was extra impressive, as the Panthers had 20 less carries when compared to the opposition.

He also said that he felt his team’s performance was ‘brilliant’ and that Saturday night was better than the week before, and the week before had been better than the first week, proving that they were making progress with every match played. For those partaking in NRL betting this opinion is good news, as it means that the Panthers coach has great faith in their ability to keep getting better as the season progresses.

Not Blaming the Ref

Anthony Griffin squarely shouldered the blame for the Penrith Panthers loss to the Roosters, and refused the opportunity to dig the boot in to Jeff Younis, the touch judge who has subsequently been sacked (again) due to poor performance.

Many considered Michael Gordon’s try in the 73rd minute as controversial, but Griffin refused to wade into the fray, saying that his side must take control of their own destiny, rather than pointing fingers at the officials. He has no issue with the referees and has made no bones about how one day, the call could go their way.

The Way Forward

Friday’s match between the Penrith Panthers and Newcastle Knights will see the Panthers going for their second win of 2017. For Griffin, this will be the perfect opportunity to plug their ‘leaky defence’ and to show just what they are made of.

On paper, many think that it will be an easy win for the Panthers, but Griffin isn’t getting complacent as he knows the Knights have improved in the off-season and could provide some serious competition. The Panthers may have been viewed as Premiership favourites at the beginning of the year, and the Newcastle Knights as contenders for the wooden spoon for the 3rd time, but the reality of it is that both teams will run on to the field on even ground.