Shattered Penrith playmakers Luke Walsh and Travis Burns have taken responsibility for Friday night’s 22-16 NRL loss to Manly, but insist they can turn things around in the short-term.
Panthers coach Matt Elliott admitted the six-point difference at Brookvale Oval flattered his side and lamented Penrith’s inability to convert pressure into points after they dominated possession in Manly’s red zone in the first half.
And feisty five-eighth Burns was frank when assessing Penrith’s position after seven rounds.
“When you’re two (wins) from seven, the losses are even tougher,” he told AAP.
“It’s the errors that are killing us, we’re making fundamental errors you know what I mean?
“Forward passes, dropped ball, penalties on the fourth tackle … we’ve got the lot and it’s not up to NRL standard.
“Last year we scored the most points of anyone in the NRL, but right now we’re struggling.
“We need to have a good hard look at ourselves … I think if we’re honest with each other we can turn our season around.
“We’re all down. We’re all hurting. We’ve got to turn our season around and it’s got to start this week (against the Warriors).”
Halfback Walsh admitted that after dominating possession in the opening 20 minutes, Penrith deserved to be on the scoreboard and was at a loss to explain how they didn’t cross the line.
Elliott said Manly’s defence deserved praise, but Walsh put the blame squarely on the faltering Panthers.
“It was a bit of their defence, but I think it was more us not taking the opportunities that were in front of us,” he said.
“Especially in those 15-20 minutes when we had all that possession and couldn’t break them … so… I don’t know, it’s just not clicking at the moment.
“We know what we can do in attack, we’re just not doing it enough at the moment.
“We’ve got strike power out wide, we’re just not using them. We’re playing dumb footy.”
Walsh agreed with his halves partner that as agroup Penrith required an honesty session to turn their season around.
“I’d say so, he’s spot on there,” he admitted.
“We have to turn it around straight away against the Warriors. We have to. We’re in that situation now and we put ourselves in that situation, so we’ve got to dig ourselves out of it.”
Burns felt the Panthers had been improving in recent weeks, and said a quick turnaround was not out of the question.
“We can score points. We put 36 points on (Canberra) a couple of weeks back,” he said.
“I thought we were unlucky (to lose 25-10 to Melbourne) last week and I thought the scoreline flattered Melbourne a bit, but we know we’re a good team.”