Plum confident Panthers can rise above injury crisis

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As the injury crisis at the foot of the Mountains deepens, Penrith fans are starting to question whether their side will have enough juice in the tank or players on the park, for that matter, come finals time.

One man who isn’t too fazed about the amount of scan results and crutches floating around at training is veteran prop Nigel Plum.

The 30-year-old is no stranger to injuries himself, having suffered dozens over his 10-year career. But in a huge sign of faith in the club’s depth, Plum is confident Penrith has enough talent to not only fill the void of their missing stars but still be a force during the business end of the season.

“We’ve got great depth at the club. We know they’re big losses but at the same time we’ve got some great players who are going to come in,” Plum said.

“The players who are going to come in have all played first grade and are good enough to play it. They’ll all be excited to play first grade again and the enthusiasm they’ll bring will allow them to slot straight into the side.”

Penrith’s latest injury wave came last Friday night during their big win against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.

On the back of losing Tyrone Peachey (pec) and Peter Wallace (knee) to season-ending injuries in recent weeks, the club lost another three stars in Elijah Taylor (knee), Bryce Cartwright (ankle) and Brent Kite (pec) for extended periods of time.

“All of them brought massive things to the side. They are all big losses but that’s what happens in footy,” Plum admitted.

“What’s going to determine how far we go is how we respond. I guess the good thing about our club is that we play our best when the whole team does.

“We’ve got good enough players to come in, we’ve just got to continue playing well as a team and things will go alright for us.”

Penrith will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons in Wollongong this Sunday where a win will all but ensure a place in the 2014 NRL Finals.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us and we’re all looking forward to it. If everyone steps up that extra one per cent then I think we’ll be right,” Plum added.

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