Coach Griffin hails no-nonsense Panthers

Aug 20, 2017 - 7:58 AM Penrith coach Anthony Griffin has hailed the resiliency in his NRL side after they all but secured a finals berth in Sunday's win over Canberra.

The Panthers let slip a 10-point advantage at GIO Stadium but regained the lead on rookie Tyrone May's 73rd minute try from dummy-half.

The victory against the in-form Canberra comes after unconvincing wins over Gold Coast, Canterbury, Wests Tigers and North Queensland in a seven-game unbeaten run.

However Griffin was delighted with the way his team fought back after being on the ropes deep in the second half against the Raiders.

"Obviously we had a chance to win it today in our own right, and then we had to win it again when they surged at us," Griffin said.

"And that's hard to do at this time of the year - win tight games of football twice.

"We'll take a lot of confidence out of that. We obviously put ourselves in that position, but to be able to win it again, that's probably the take home point for me for the day."

And the unlikely hero on Sunday was 21-year-old May, whose match-winner came just one week after setting up Nathan Cleary against the Cowboys last week.

After filling in for Matt Moylan at five-eighth last month, Griffin said he had no hesitation in keeping the youngster on the bench following an injury to Peter Wallace at hooker.

"He's been playing well whenever he's got his chance," Griffin said.

Veteran Mitch Rein was overlooked for the No.9 jumper in favour of another rookie in Sione Katoa, who was substituted by May in the second half.

"Katoa's been going really well. He's been in our squad for about six weeks. It was a tough call on Reiny but just at this time of the year, I felt that gave us a little bit better balance," Griffin said.

"They can both play a lot of positions, Sione can play lock or in the halves or hooker, and so can Tyrone. It just gave us a bit of versatility there."

Source: AAP






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