Panthers captain Matt Moylan and veteran Peter Wallace have reflected on a disappointing first-up performance, while complimenting rookie winger Dylan Edwards, ahead of the team’s trip to Campbelltown to face Wests Tigers on Sunday.
Speaking to the media outside the Panthers Rugby League Academy, Wallace said the squad was determined to overcome a disappointing opening round against the Dragons.
"Over the past couple of days there have been a couple of good sessions," he said.
"We're obviously disappointed about last week but we’ve moved on and we’re focused on the Tigers this week."
An eye socket injury sustained in the game last Saturday has ruled Peta Hiku out for the next month, paving the way for 21-year-old Edwards to make his first appearance since his debut game against the Sharks in Round 18 last season.
"It’s always hard to lose a bloke for a month," Wallace said.
"I feel for Peta coming back from a [knee] reconstruction last year and copping that."
However the hooker also threw his support behind Hiku’s immediate replacement.
"He (Edwards) has put in the best pre-season by anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s been outstanding."
Moylan also has confidence in the abilities of youngster Edwards.
"He played a game last year and he's trained the house down throughout pre-season," he said.
"He’s a confident kid, he played Junior Kangaroos last season and he gets another opportunity and he’s ready to take it with both hands."
The skipper acknowledged the test his side faces against a Tigers outfit that scored a convincing win over the Rabbitohs last Friday. He is keeping a close eye on fellow State of Origin hopeful James Tedesco.
"They were pretty good in Round One and they have some players that are playing good footy," Moylan said.
"We know we have to be on our game defensively to shut them down.
"I always enjoy those types of match ups against that calibre of player (Tedesco) to test yourself against them.
"He started the year well last week so we’re going to have to be on our game to limit his opportunities."