Final Word with Hook: Elimination Final
Anthony Griffin has challenged his troops to respond after being taught a lesson last weekend by Manly Sea Eagles when they meet again this Saturday at Allianz Stadium.
The Panthers were ambushed early on at Lottoland and never recovered as their opponents blew out to a 28-0 lead that was never relinquished.
Griffin admits Manly "did a job on us" and the whole team "need to be a lot better than last week."
"Obviously we were disappointed with the way we played but it’s a new week," he said.
"Thankfully that wasn't our last game we get another chance tomorrow night.
"We've got to be a lot better physically. We got a real lesson on physicality and intensity in that first twenty minutes.
"We've got to be able to meet that and be a lot better at that ourselves this week."
Despite finishing the regular season with back-to-back losses, Griffin was adamant that his young side will be able to bounce back and respond with a performance this week.
"I've got confidence in them (the young guys)," Griffin said.
"If anything last week was probably finals intensity and they weren't ready for it.
"They'll get a lesson out of last week and learn what finals intensity is all about, but we've been playing high pressure football for a while now.
"We didn't get it right last week but tomorrow night is another opportunity to do that."
Griffin added, "From our end, it's [about] learning from last week."
"But also we've got a lot of confidence in our resilience and the form that we've shown in the back end of the year, otherwise we wouldn’t be standing here talking about this game."
There was mixed news on the injury front with Dylan Edwards expected to return early and play at the expense of Waqa Blake who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during the game last Saturday.
"He (Edwards) is looking good. He got through yesterday and today so it looks like he'll play," Griffin said.
"It's a great result for Dyl. For us as a team and for him to be back this early.
"We thought he was going to be three or four weeks but he's ended up being [healthy] inside two.
"It's a credit to him and our medical staff to be able to get him back on the field so quick.
"Unfortunately for Waqa Blake he had a shoulder injury which is going to need some surgery (reconstruction) on Monday, which is unfortunate for him, but Dean Whare comes in there."