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James Maloney: ‘We’ve got an opportunity to do something special’

Penrith Panthers star James Maloney says his team has an “opportunity to do something special” ahead of the start of the NRL finals on Friday.

The Panthers will host the Warriors at ANZ Stadium on Saturday after finishing in fifth place following a turbulent season which saw Anthony Griffin sacked and Cameron Ciraldo take over as coach.

Maloney said the mid-season coaching drama hasn’t been as hard to overcome as everyone has said.

“I don’t think it’s been as tough as everyone’s made it out to be,” Maloney said.

“The view externally is probably polar opposite to the feeling internally.

“It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it was sort of dealt with and moved on pretty quickly.

“I suppose it was all the external stuff that sort of kept it around, but we tried to ignore that and focus on what we had to do.”

The Panthers began 2018 in stellar fashion topping the table after round 13, however a string of injuries and the coaching scandal took its toll on the club.

After preventing the Storm from taking the minor premiership in Melbourne, Maloney said the club must not be complacent this week.

“The key is to not assume it just happens again and make sure we get everything right,” Maloney said.

“We’ve got an opportunity to do something special.

“It’s a week by week proposition for us.”

The elimination final will kick-off at 5:30pm.


Listen to the full interview below: