Comeback kings Penrith must fix starts
Posted on 05/28/19 8:32 PM
Josh Mansour says Penrith need to have better starts if they want to make a dent in the finals.They’re the NRL’s comeback kings but Penrith know they must fix their slow starts if they want to be a force come the finals.
Figures from across the entire season show the fourth-placed Panthers trail their opponents by a combined 318-301 over the first hour of matches, before romping home 166-71 in the final 20 minutes of games.
The Panthers have six times trailed teams headed into the final 20 minutes of games before going on to win the match.
But in a telling statistic, only one of those wins have come against a top-eight side – and even that was against South Sydney in round two when far from their peak.
“Without a doubt. You look at top-four teams, and I don’t think they would give us a sniff if we gave them a lead that early in the game,” Josh Mansour said.
“I would rather start the game well and stay consistent through the whole match but this time of year we need to get the wins.
“We definitely have to rectify the issue – there’s no doubt about it.”
Saturday’s win over the Gold Coast was the third time in a row they’ve been forced to win in such fashion, while the four 14-point deficits they’ve overcome this year is the most of any side since 1980.
Which makes the subject of slow starts one of the top priorities for new coach Cameron Ciraldo this week.
“We are changing things up – that’s what’s funny,” Mansour said.
“We’ve just got to keep training hard. I’ve got a lot of faith in the team.
“He’s been first week as a head coach trying to change things here and there – whatever is going to work for the team.
“I think it’s a bit of mindset and maybe a bit of tactics. Every week you play a different opposition so you need to have a bit different tactics.”
PENRITH’S SEASON OF NRL COMEBACKS
Round 1: Trailed Parramatta 14-0, won 24-14
Round 2: Trailed South Sydney 14-0, won 18-14
Round 14: Trailed Canberra 20-10, won 23-22
Round 20: Trailed Manly 24-6, won 28-24
Round 21: Trailed Canberra 26 12, won 40-31
Round 22: Trailed Gold Coast 16-6, won 17-6.
First hour of matches: 301-318
Final 20 minutes of matches: 165-71.