Marathon, not a sprint

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Penrith Panthers Toyota Cup coach, Garth Brennan, has warned his young brigade not to “table watch” as he prepares his premiership leading troops for the second half of the NYC season.

The former Newcastle Knights coach, who’s currently serving his first year at the Panthers helm, has incredibly guided his young cubs to nine wins, one draw and two losses to lead the competition after 13 rounds.

“To be honest it does surprise me how well we are doing this year,” coach Brennan said. “I thought (coming into the role) we had a side that was certainly competitive and was going to trouble some teams but to be leading the comp, it is nice, but I’d wish it were round 26 and we were leading the comp.”

While the Panthers haven’t lost a game since their round seven defeat to the Wests Tigers, they would have to admit they haven’t been overly dominant in games especially against some lowly opposition.

“I continue to tell the guys not to look at the table, even when it comes to teams we’re playing, because as fans may have witnessed in our recent game against the last-placed Manly, the Sea Eagles were leading at half-time and were really troubling us,” he said.

“That’s what happens when you ‘table watch’, you look at teams at the bottom of the table, they can still beat you. If you keep looking at the table and see you’re going great, complacency starts to set in and then you’re asking for trouble.

“Right now we are not getting carried away about where we are on the ladder, it’s a marathon not a sprint race, so we’ve got to be aware of that.”

This Monday afternoon, the Panthers return to Centrebet Stadium to take on the 2011 Toyota Cup premiership winning New Zealand Warriors. Brennan said Penrith will need to be on their game to compete against the Warriors.

“You really need to control the ball against a team like the Warriors, if you give up errors and give them easy possession down your end of the field, they’ll make you pay,” he said.

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