What are your impressions 5 rounds in?

Well we now 5 rounds into Season 2019, and it has been quite a mixed bag to say the least.

So where has it gone right, and where has it gone wrong? What do you miss from the Griffin Era and wheat do you like from the new Cleary era?

What needs to change to ensure a top 8 finish this year? Looking at the draw, what are your feelings on the prospect of ths team this year?

This is your place to say what you feel keyboard coaches and fans alike.

Below is a summary of the season thus far as well as the team statistics for the opening rounds.

Looking forward to your comments…

R1 Parramatta Eels 20 d. Penrith Panthers 12 H
R2 Penrith Panthers 16 d. Newcastle Knights 14 A
R3 Melbourne Storm 20 d. Penrith Panthers 2 N
R4 Penrith Panthers 9 d. West Tigers 8 H (GP)
R5 Gold Coast Titans 30 d. Penrith Panthers 24 A
R6 Cronulla Sharks 24 d. Penrith Panthers 20 A
Result Average Postion Stat Health (More is Better)
Points 83 105.75 15/16 :fire:
Tries 13 18 15/16 :fire:
Runs 856 901.625 14/16 :fire:
Run Metres 7076 7999.6875 16/16 :fire:
Linebreaks 17 22.25 15/16 :fire:
Tackle Busts 105 135.9375 15/16 :fire:
Offloads 37 54.5625 16/16 :fire:
Tackled Opp 20 175 161.5 5/16 :fire::fire::fire:
Completion Rate 69 74.25 16/16 :fire:
Goals 15 16.5625 10/16 :fire::fire:
Goal Attempts 16 21.625 15/16 :fire:
Goal Kicking % 93 76.6875 1/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
Field Goals 1 0.625 5/16 :fire::fire::fire:
Field Goal Attempts 1 1.9375 12/16 :fire::fire:
Field Goal % 100 37.5 1/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
Kicks 113 117.25 10/16 :fire::fire:
Kick Metres 3100 2933.0625 5/16 :fire::fire::fire:
Long Kicks 51 46.4375 4/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
Weighted Kicks 10 15.75 15/16 :fire:
Attacking Kicks 52 53.875 12/16 :fire::fire:
Forced Dropouts 18 11.0625 2/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
Kick Returns 54 54.9375 10/16 :fire::fire:
Kick Return Metres 470 521.3125 12/16 :fire::fire:
Dummy Half Runs 33 47.5 15/16 :fire:
1 Pass Hit-Ups 399 416.6875 11/16 :fire::fire:
Line Engagements 235 185.9375 3/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
General Play Passes 521 523.125 8/16 :fire::fire:
In-Goal Escapes 1 0.5625 4/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
Errors 79 66.5625 3/16 :fire:
Penalties Awarded 26 34.875 14/16 :fire:
Penalties Conceded 43 34.875 2/16 :fire:
Sin Bins 0 0.1875 11/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
Send Offs 0 0 16/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
Points Conceded 128 105.75 4/16 :fire:
Tries Conceded 22 18 4/16 :fire:
Run Metres Conceded 8077 7999.6875 9/16 :fire::fire::fire:
Linebreaks Conceded 23 22.25 8/16 :fire::fire::fire:
Tackles 1943 1732 2/16 :fire:
Missed Tackles 164 135.875 2/16 :fire:
Offloads Conceded 45 54.5625 14/16 :fire::fire::fire::fire:
Try Assists 10 14.75 15/16 :fire:

I don’t know what the problem is. The team seems to be down on confidence & I must admit so am I.
There appears to be a lack of urgency, for the want of a better expression, in most facets of our game.
Perhaps a good quality victory will restore the team’s ( & supporters ) belief in themselves.
I will still be cheering & supporting whatever occurs.

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I can’t add much to what I wrote after the Titans game when I said:

We seem to be suffering ‘perfect storm’ conditions. The dramas on Griffin’s departure, IC coming in, videogate, ‘no-job’ Gould, our top players seemingly almost all being terribly out of form, failure to address what were clearly our two weaknesses ie D/H and one centre, & our continued run of not getting the best of the officiating, has resulted in some terrible football being played, with two close wins, a close loss, and a heavy defeat.

The sharks game didn’t change much, & watching the knights and tigers over the weekend just reinforced where we are at in my mind - the only wins were against these extra poor teams & we could easily have lost both of them.

Whilst I was not sure why pundits were predicting we would win the comp, I, like most of our supporters, thought we were a good team who would acquit ourselves pretty well. The doubt I had was how it would play out with Cleary coming back as coach.

The season is not dead just yet. We were terrible in 2015, and it was as if Griffin just went for broke with Nathan coming in, and a change in game plan, and wooshka we made the finals. There is no NC in reserve grade to act as a catalyst to turning the season around. The guys we have are the guys we have.

I see that reports of Gould being gone are just coming thru. Maybe that will be the catalyst??

I loved watching Griffens ‘frantic footy’ and unbelievable comebacks.
Occurred to me the players want to back themselves and not a restrictive
system. Someone here posted stats on try’s scored that didn’t reflect
kindly on our three quarters. Could it be we’re still coming to grips
with the way Cleary wants to play the game.

Yes, what worried me was IC saying something about it taking time for the squad to adjust to our new style. Gave me flashbacks to Elliot’s “Melbourne culture”. We made it to Week2 of the finals the last 3 years. A lot of teams would only dream of doing that. Whilst Griffin had some quirks, and the charisma of a pieces of sandstone, he got us to the playoffs 3 times in a row. His crime???

While agree with all the above, and what is an obvious tormentual start to the year, I get the feeling we are only one or two changes away from kicking into gear.

The off field is obvious beyond this armchair coaches ability to fix, but from a team perspective, I see the following structural issues;

  1. no 3rd kicker - We miss Wallace licking out of dummy half - while you can get away with it for a while, the more options the better. A kicking hooker and/or fullback just adds so many options. When Cleary gets tackled on the 4th, the Defence knows it goes to Maloney.

  2. lack of playmakers. We miss the peach. Aside from our halves Kikau is the closet we have got.

  3. May - he may have been our solution to 1&2 - enough said.

  4. Hooker - play Egan 80mins, and let him kick and develop into a playmaker. As couch coach I have made a call and sent Katoa back to reggies. He has had long enough to develop and just doesn’t have it.

  5. Attitude - I would be sitting DWZ out this week for that shameful penalty, and set and example to the team.

  6. Confidence - Edwards, Mansour, even Yeo seem to be suffering. Maybe the preseason videos have something to do with it.

  7. Fitness - under Griffin we were fittest in the league, and our come from behind wins were stuff of legend. This can be gained through the year though - witness the dragons who always peak to early.

  8. our backs- new fullback this week, hope he goes well. Wingers don’t make or break a premiership. Whare will be missed for his defense.

  9. My most contentious call - I think Blake is the new Frank Pritchard, either he involves himself in every game for the teams sake or gets out. Every year we seem to complain about him not getting the ball, but does he bother seeking it? For every straight run, he has 4 crabbing runs. Capability galore, but only seems to use it when he wants to. An interchange forward he may transition into, if not as far as the coach is concerned his time is up.

  10. now for the wacky suggesting - Edwards at Hooker?

The reason for referencing the final piece of the puzzle was 2002-03. While no one can deny the effort of Marty, the real change was buying Priddis and moving the test hooker to half. The settling on 6 forwards to interchange 4 bench spots and the path was set.

I do think we are only one or changes away, despite my 10 points above.

Then again, I’m not a coach, just a long suffering fan, who remembers the good times.

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It hasn’t been pretty, but there have been glimpses of what we are capable of. Fitness & confidence seem to be the big issues, if we can sort them out soon it will go a long way to resurrecting our season.

great points and clearly all by keen students of Panthers but we must also remember there have been major mis steps by Cleary (the coach)
Like who in their right mind would name 6 Captains?
Then he switched sides for Maloney and Cleary (the 7)
Named Edwards at 1 and persisted until the kid was burnt and sent to lower grades.

Then we have the wild card of not knowing what if any was going on behind the scenes by a miffed Gould where he today has walked.

In short its been a bloody mess from players and coaches and responsibility for where we are sits with them and its only them who can either turn our situation into a motivation going forward or an excuse to completely collapse.

I had them easily making the 8 before season kick off and then was really up to a few results plus players remaining fit to see how deep we go in the finals.

On current form we will see them competing for the spoon but i think they are much better then this and with todays news Cleary (the coach) is unshackled and free to do what he sees at best for the team.

The next few weeks will tell us much about our team and where they want to end up this year.

Attitude !

Our pre season focussed on ball work, you have to wonder what kind of ball work given our back 3 have been woeful regarding handling. Obviously ball work without impact because we have been shy of contact.

This creates mental spiders and you simply cannot question impact in 1st grade. The player mindset MUST be I am better than the opposite and play accordingly - we are miles from that point both mentally and more importantly physically.

Without a complete reversal in mindset we are bottom 4. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: