They’re losing players by the dozen and games on the siren, but Penrith have been urged to keep the faith.
The luckless Panthers, who have lost their first two games of the NRL season at the death, were smacked by more bad news this week after centre Dean Whare was ruled out for up to six weeks with a calf injury.
It comes after losing star hooker James Segeyaro for two months with a broken arm, which followed new captain Matt Moylan hurting his back in the trials.
It means Penrith’s first-choice spine of Moylan, Jamie Soward, Peter Wallace and Segeyaro have now played just 11 minutes on the field together since round two last year.
But utility Tyrone Peachey, who will once again fill-in at six with Wallace the stop-gap hooker for this week’s clash against Brisbane, said there was no time to fret over a seemingly never-ending curse.
“It happens to us every year so we’re used to it now. Everyone in the lower grades, prems and under-20s, they’ve all got to be ready,” Peachey told AAP.
“It’s the same as last year. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and try and play good footy.”
The 24-year-old admitted the locker room was a frustrated one after their last-gap loss to Canterbury last week, but called on the team to rely on the good signs.
For the first 79 minutes against the Bulldogs, for example, the Panthers were the better team.
“It’s deflating a little bit but we can’t use it as a negative. You’ve got take it as a positive. We’re getting better. Hopefully we can do one better and get the win next week,” he said.
Like he has for most of his career, Peachey said he was ready to adapt to any role coach Anthony Griffin asked of him, including the rare task of defending at hooker and attacking at five-eighth this week.
Soward will carry the lone hand as the focal point in attack.
“Sowie’s our leader and he likes to lead the team around. I just try and put as much impact in as I can, when I can. I just try and do what’s best for the team,” he said.
“I’m happy to do whatever they want. As long as I’m playing first grade, I’m happy.”
Peachey said the club was in no rush to get Moylan back into the side to help post their first win.
“That’s a slow process. We don’t want him to come back and re-injure it. I want him back 100 per cent,” he said.