Penrith’s Progression has them in Finals Contention

Updated: March 8, 2019
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This week’s Round Four clashes are crucial deciders for both Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup Penrith Panthers teams and both coaches are hoping their side’s winning ways continue.

The Panthers Andrew Johns Cup Coach David Mackinnon was pleased with his sides 32-12 win over GSR Wests Tigers in Round Three but says there are areas of their game that need improvement if they want to reach the Semi-Finals.

“There have been some very positive performances and the boys have improved a lot from Round One,” Mackinnon said.

“I think our first half was a bit rusty, I have to address that with the group because the Tigers gave us a bit of scare in the first half.

“In the second half, we came out all guns blazing and the boys responded to the half-time chat, which was good.

“They’ve certainly got some confidence from the win but they definitely know they have to improve on what they produced in the first half last week.”

Mackinnon says his standout players include half Tylor Bunting, who he praised for his organisational skills and kicking game and hopes Bunting can help the team to another victory at home this weekend.

“We’ve asked them to improve in a number of areas, like in defence, and they’ve done that which is good and we’ve asked the boys to continue on improving and if we can do that I’m confident that we’ll get the result on Saturday.

“The boys always love playing at home in front of their families and they always enjoy the home games so they’ll be up for that one.”

Penrith Laurie Daley Coach Robert Taylor says their first two opening rounds were mentality tough for his team but they have learnt from it and produced a resounding 60-4 victory over GSR Wests Tigers in Round Three.

“They are getting better and better each week and coming into the last two games it’s really tight on the ladder,” Taylor said.

“There are four teams that could make it into the semis so its really competitive and were looking forward to the challenge as a team.”

Taylor says his side have been unlucky with injury but the incentives of a possible Semi-Finals berth and the Penrith NRL High Performance Team watching their games are motivating the team to perform.

“There are a lot of positives in regards to what we’re doing but also some negatives, like injuries.

“Our halves Connor Mason and Braith Alexander have really been lifting the team but one of our best forwards Campbell Fisher is out because he has to have an operation on his shoulder.

“But in saying that, with players out if just gives other boys the opportunity to play these last few rounds and hopefully in the semis.”

The Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup Penrith Panthers v Riverina Bulls matches will take place at St Marys Leagues Stadium on Saturday, 9th March; with matches kicking off at 10:00am and 11:20am.

Both matches will be live streamed via the CRL Facebook Page.

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