Soward shoulders blame for poor attack

Penrith five-eighth Jamie Soward has taken the blame for his side having the worst attack in the NRL.

The Panthers’ 15.8 points per game is easily the poorest in the competition, including a league-low 6.3 points in the first half of matches.

Just last year the mountain men fell one game short of a grand final.

But with four games remaining in 2015, the Panthers are suddenly in danger of being handed the wooden spoon after a fifth-straight loss to Parramatta.

Soward admitted he needed to lift his form.

“Taking away from the weekend, (I) was pretty poor and I put my hand up for the poor attack,” he said.

“We had been building over the past month to getting a win, we’d been close in games and just hadn’t been able to close them out.”

With linchpin Matt Moylan still sidelined and skipper Peter Wallace out for the year, Penrith can lay claim to having the biggest casualty ward in the competition.

But Soward insists the club’s depth needed to be backed up by their more established players – starting with himself.

“Last year we had extended periods together with the spine and continuity and how you play alongside each other was a lot more fluent last season,” he said.

“Obviously when the attack’s struggling, the halves usually get the blame for it but being the older half I need to make sure I get everything right.”

Prop Nigel Plum is expected to be a late inclusion in the side that has called up veteran David Simmons in place of rookie Waqa Blake.

The Warriors, who remain an outside chance of sneaking into the finals, have also been hard with injuries and suspension.

They have been forced to call on Jonathan Wright and Sam Rapira to replace Manu Vatuvei and Ben Matulino respectively.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Panthers’ mentor Ivan Cleary has coached 11 of the 17 fixtures between these two clubs from 2006 – seven of them with the Warriors.

* These two teams have the top three offloaders in the competition in Matulino (48), Bryce Cartwright (44) and Simon Mannering (39).

* Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins is still yet to score a try in his 10 games this season.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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