Panthers star Bryce Cartwright says his first NRL Finals appearance was a good learning curve heading into this Saturday night’s Semi Final against Canberra.
While the Panthers got the goods in the end, they were on the back foot early when a defensive lapse by Cartwright saw Bulldogs half Moses Mbye post first points.
Cartwright’s early error, which fortunately didn’t prove costly in the end, resulted in captain Matt Moylan giving his five-eighth a major spray to pull him back into line.
“You can’t take it personally, I know I messed up there,” Cartwright told the Weekender.
“That’s Moyza’s role as captain to let me know that. I already knew that I did wrong but he has a right to do that.”
Cartwright, who is known for his ‘rocks and diamonds’ plays, said it’s important to shrug off an error quickly.
“I’ve never worried when I’ve messed up, I’ve never been that type of person to do that,” he said.
“I just worry about the next job at hand. I’ve learnt that you can’t worry about mistakes because they play on your mind.
“After a mistake I let it go and get back to playing good footy.”
While the second-rower turned half admits he’s been rather quiet of late, he’s put his recent lack of involvement in attack down to his red-hot skipper stealing the show.
“Moyza’s been playing outstanding, so I don’t have to do too much when he’s playing like that,” Cartwright said.
“I just need to keep steering the team around and look after that aspect.”
According to Cartwright, one of the major highlights of his first Finals game last Sunday was Penrith’s incredible supporter base.
“It gives us such a boost when we see the Panthers fans. When we walked into Allianz Stadium the other day they all stood up and roared – that was crazy to see how much support we have,” he said.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.