AAP Rugby

Ciraldo asks sloppy Panthers for calm

By AAP Newswire

Even first-time NRL head coach Cameron Ciraldo has been around long enough to know his Penrith side won't win a premiership playing like that.

A completion rate of 65 per cent and constant, basic errors haunted the Panthers for the first 75 minutes of their clash with the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Down 16-6 with five minutes to play, everything was pointing to a gloomy finish to a week that began with the sacking of coach Anthony Griffin.

Ciraldo could afford a smile after Penrith scored twice and then nailed the field goal in golden point extra time to make it three incredible comeback wins on the trot.

But Griffin was sacked after similar victories in their past two games and Ciraldo knows their Gold Coast escape hadn't papered over the cracks.

"I didn't know what to expect really ... but in three days at training, couldn't ask for anything more," the interim coach said.

"The energy, vibe of the joint and how hard they trained was really pleasing.

"I wanted that to translate into a game-day performance but in a number of areas it didn't."

Penrith kept their chances of finishing inside the top four healthy, but Ciraldo said their composure needed to improve to be any chance of lifting the trophy on September 30.

"I think a lot of those mistakes were over excitement or over-enthusiasm to win those little battles," he said.

"We need to make sure our blokes are a little calmer and understand the consequences of those actions.

"Whether it be the next three to seven (weeks), we'll determine our own fate there."

James Maloney is the only injury concern, with the NSW Origin five-eighth limping from the field at halftime.

He returned to complete the game but will have scans on Monday as a precaution.