Panthers hooker Wayde Egan says it’s time to stop kicking stones about refereeing decisions and get back to work.
Penrith failed to keep their incredible winning streak alive last Sunday following a rather controversial loss to premiership contenders Canberra 30-18 at Panthers Stadium.
Penrith skipper James Tamou and vice-captain James Maloney blew up at match officials multiple times throughout the contest, with Canberra seemingly getting the rub of the green on many of the 50/50 calls.
Speaking with the Weekender on Tuesday, the 22-year-old said the officiating wasn’t the reason his side lost on Sunday.
“You can never blame the refs for any games, well I don’t anyway,” Egan said.
“We weren’t good enough to beat Canberra. Sometimes the 50/50 calls don’t go your way and sometimes they do. You can’t get stuck whinging about it.”
While Penrith were unable to record an eighth straight win, they were impressed with how well they matched up against one of the competition’s best sides.
Egan said despite the loss, Penrith are still brimming with confidence and are eager to kick start another winning streak.
“Losing after seven wins in a row was tough to swallow, it sucked, but we weren’t too far off the Raiders on the weekend,” he said.
“We’d probably be kicking ourselves if we played really bad but we know we did some good stuff out there against a quality side and we can keep our heads up high.
“We are definitely up there and we are a much-improved side compared to the start of the year. Last weekend’s game won’t shake our confidence, I think we are a top four side.”
Penrith will look to get back on track on Saturday night when they face the lowly Canterbury Bulldogs at Western Sydney Stadium. The Round 20 clash will be the first time the Panthers have faced the boys from Belmore all season.
Egan, who will play at the shiny new Parramatta stadium for the first time, said the match will be a real battle no matter how far down Canterbury sit on the ladder.
“It’s the NRL not park footy, every week is tough no matter who you play. Whether they are first or 16th, you have to be at your best to win,” he said.
“The Bulldogs only just got beat by the Chooks on the weekend, so it shows what sort of side they can be if they turn it on.
“They are on the improve as well, so I’m certainly very wary of them this weekend.”
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.