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17 Mar 2018 19:03
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Panthers boss calls for more physicality

    Penrith's forwards put in a solid performance against Manly last week and need to repeat the trick against the Warriors, coach Anthony Griffin says.

    - article from

    Penrith boss Anthony Griffin has challenged his forward pack for Friday's clash with the Warriors to front with the same physicality they showed in last week's triumph over Manly.

    Chastened by their 42-14 loss to South Sydney two weeks ago, Griffin's troops ground out a 16-8 win against the high-flying Sea Eagles last Saturday.

    It was their fourth NRL win in the past six matches, and keeps them just four points outside the eight - tied with the Warriors in equal-ninth place.

    Having struggled to finish off their chances in attack, the Panthers put the win down to their defensive solidity through the middle, and Griffin called for a repeat dose against the Warriors in Auckland.

    "You've got to win off the back of your forward pack. Our forwards have been really good, defensively they've held tough for long periods," Griffin told NZN.

    "That's why that South Sydney performance stood out so much - it wasn't us, it wasn't what we've been building.

    "Not much needed to be said to these guys. They're all good competitors and proud players, and got out and did the job against Manly."

    Griffin has made just the one change to a mostly settled matchday side, reintroducing back-rower James Fisher-Harris from the bench.

    The 21-year-old Kiwi has endured an injury-plagued 2017 season to date, playing in just five matches, but has recovered from a hamstring complaint to travel across the ditch with his Panthers teammates.

    The team arrived on Wednesday evening and underwent their captain's run on Thursday afternoon in miserable, frosty Auckland conditions.

    Griffin hoped his side could keep pushing for top-eight contention on Friday, and repeat the late-season surge they produced in 2016 to finish sixth.

    "We're capable of that. But it's the old cliche - Friday night is the key at the moment," Griffin said.

    "If you come away with two points, you start to build again."


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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