Penrith centre Dean Whare hopes he can help spark a stuttering attack that has recently lost sight of the tryline in the midst of the club’s injury crisis.
Even before gun fullback Matt Moylan joined a lengthy casualty ward with a long-term ankle injury a fortnight ago, the Panthers were in a tryscoring drought.
Their inability to cross the stripe came to a head in their last-start loss to Melbourne, when they failed to register a single point.
Excluding a 26-20 defeat to Parramatta in Round 12, Penrith have crossed just once since the beginning of May.
In fact, last year’s preliminary finalists have scored a total 16 points over that period.
After eight weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, Whare dusted off the cobwebs against Melbourne and is hoping for an improved team performance in Saturday night’s clash against Canterbury.
“It’s our completions. Against Melbourne, we made 24 errors and penalties and you’re not going to win any games if you don’t have the ball,” Whare told AAP.
“So we’ve just been shooting ourselves in the foot the last couple of weeks, dropping too much ball.”
The 25-year-old blamed their attacking slump on a poor completion rate, and said the team had used the bye period to simplify their game plan.
“All we have to do is try and strip it back, play a bit more simpler and give ourselves opportunities to attack other teams’ lines,” he said.
“Most times we were attacking we had defended three to four sets in a row. So that’s probably a reason why we haven’t been attacking so well.”
Whare’s prolonged layoff was the first time he was forced to a miss a game since joining Penrith in 2013.
“I was disappointed,” he said.
“Just to miss two games I was pretty unhappy and I ended up missing four or five games. It was my first injury in a long time.
“It was meant to be one or two weeks but every time I was just about to come back, I had a little re-tear so it just kept dragging on.
“Luckily it came through alright against Melbourne.”