Penrith fullback Matt Moylan has praised the club’s makeshift halves in Isaac John and Apisai Koroisau for getting the Panthers back on track during last Saturday’s much-needed win over Manly.
John and Koroisau played together in the halves for the first time last weekend following the shock news that halfback Peter Wallace would join regular five-eighth Jamie Soward on the sidelines with an ongoing knee injury.
Speaking with Extra Time on Tuesday, Moylan said the usual NSW Cup pair in John and Koroisau were the difference against the Sea Eagles and will only get better with time.
“I think we got back to basics last Saturday. We prepared well throughout the week and played simple footy. We played the kind of style we’re comfortable with and we know we can win playing it,” he said.
“It has been different playing with a new halves pairing each week but the two boys who have stepped up in that position have been doing an outstanding job. I think they were two of our better players on the weekend and they’re probably going to take a lot of confidence out of it going forward.
“I don’t think they’ve played too many games together, so their combination will get better each week.”
Penrith have been crippled with injuries, once again, over the course of the first six weeks of the season with many fans worried they wouldn’t win a game until the most crucial player of the injured bunch, Jamie Soward, returns in a few weeks.
Moylan said his teammates were always confident they’d finally snag a win without their main man and that a switch to the halves for him was never on the cards.
“I’m not sure where that thought [from the fans] came from but we were always confident here [winning without Soward] and we knew we were capable of getting a win and proved that on the weekend,” he said.
“Ivan hasn’t said anything about moving me into the halves but I’m happy playing at fullback at the moment. I think the boys have stepped up in the halves, so there’s no need for me to move there anyway.”
This Saturday afternoon the Panthers will be aiming for back to back wins when they take on the Titans on the Gold Coast.
The Panthers hammered the Titans 40-0 in Bathurst just one month ago but Moylan’s expecting a much tougher encounter up north.
“They’ve got a different side and a few players back now,” he said.
“They’ll be confident after the game against Parra on the weekend and we know it’ll be a tough, physical game up there.”
– Nathan Taylor