Soward says time is running out for the ‘ill disciplined’ Panthers
It’s been a lamentable start to the NRL season for Penrith and their problems are piling up after blowing a 14-zip lead to lose by four to the Sharks.
Cronulla piled on 24 points in the second half to win the game 24-20 and former Panther Jamie Soward says Penrith’s defense is a point of major concern.
“They’re conceding a lot of points and you can’t do that,” Soward tells Macquarie Sports Radio Breakfast.
“If I was a coach I’d coach my team similar to how Ricky Stewart has [Canberra] building – defense first, and your attack evolves,
“The Penrith Panthers don’t have an identity, they have not got an identity in terms of they’re not a defensive team, they’re not this whizz-bang attacking team,
“They will win games 30-28, but they’ll also lose games 30-28 because they haven’t got that consistency in defense,” he said.
With an average age of 24.2, the Panthers field one of the youngest squads in the competition but Soward says youth cannot be used as an excuse.
“They’re ill disciplined, they’re young, but we need to stop looking at Penrith as a young team, these guys have played 60 or 70 games,
“You don’t have time in this competition, at times you get opportunities to win a competition, your window’s open, in 2014 we had a great run but we fell a game short – we thought our window was open but we finished second last a year later,
“In 2016, 2017, and 2018, Penrith’s squad have been to the second week of the finals but they haven’t been able to get past that because they either give away big starts or they’re ill disciplined and they put pressure on themselves.”
Click PLAY to hear Jamie Soward and Joel Caine’s take on the Panthers’ loss: