Just as Penrith thought they’d put their 2015 injury woes behind them, another one bites the dust. And it’s only round one.
Hooker James Segeyaro could potentially be rubbed out for the NRL season after breaking his forearm in Saturday’s 30-22 loss to Canberra at GIO Stadium.
“He’s a pretty tough kid; he wouldn’t come off,” new coach Anthony Griffin said.
“Unfortunately for James it was his 100th game and he was playing very well.
“We’ll have a look at it and hope for the best.”
While the prognosis isn’t yet clear, it’s certainly not good news for the Panthers.
They were forced to sit out newly-installed skipper Matt Moylan (back) and Dean Whare (calf) from the season-opener, after missing their spine – Moylan, Segeyaro, Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace – for a chunk of last year.
“It’s just football,” a philosophical Griffin said.
“It just happens.”
Griffin praised the mental and physical toughness his charges showed, but lamented their lack of patience.
With Soward and Wallace steering the pack, he said there was too much “ad lib, rather than just driving forward and getting the job done.”
“We just need to get a little bit smarter,” the coach added.
“We need to be a little bit more resilient like we are in general with the ball and thinks will get a lot better.”
He said the heat, which was around 35 degrees, wasn’t an excuse, with Wallace noting they’d done most of their pre-season training in the heat at the foot of the mountains.
Griffin defended the decision to drop Kiwi international Elijah Taylor to reserve grade to make way for rookie James Fisher-Harris.
Fisher-Harris had earned his place after “outstanding” performances in the trials.
“He wasn’t out of place there,” Griffin added.
“Like all of us, he made one bad decision with the ball – he tried to squeeze an offload out – but defended very well.
“I’m not throwing jerseys away, he earned his spot in the trials.”