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Griffin realistic on Panthers' NRL woes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/04/2017 Scott Bailey

Coach Anthony Griffin © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Coach Anthony Griffin Coach Anthony Griffin knows his young Panthers will turn things around but admits he doesn't know when.

His Penrith side entered the NRL season as equal-premiership favourites, but have fallen to a disappointing 2-6 start to the year to sit in the bottom quarter of the ladder.

Saturday's 18-12 loss to Parramatta at ANZ Stadium was their fourth in a row as they struggled for the kind of cohesion and excitement in attack that impressed experts at the end of last season.

But Griffin said the club's woeful start to 2017 was key to the young side's development - he just didn't know when it would pay off.

"We're a young side developing and that's the bottom line to it," Griffin said.

"We'll be better in the future but when that is - I can't guarantee you that.

"Hopefully it is next week."

It might have to be. Not since Brisbane in 1999 have a team made the finals after dropping seven of their opening nine games, and Griffin admits Thursday's clash with the Broncos is verging on must-win.

Penrith have all the ability in the world and boast a side is littered with promising stars of tomorrow, mixed with the experience of representative players such as Trent Merrin and James Tamou.

But no matter how you spin it, it hasn't worked this season.

"It's a really good learning lesson for everyone in the club about building a side and building a performance and being patient with some of the guys we've got there," Griffin said.

"I'm filthy with losing every week. I'm a bad loser.

"But in the whole scheme of things we're learning some tough lessons at the moment but we'll be better for it next week or the week after."

Captain Matt Moylan admitted he didn't see his side's struggles coming but believes their second-half scoreline of 12-6 against Parramatta could end up a turning point.

"We've still got a lot of confidence," Moylan said.

"We played a decent brand of footy there in the second half. As Hook (Griffin) said it's something to build on going forward."

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