Rugbu League

‘We got a bit stuck’: How Bennett mind games on Taaffe distracted Panthers

“Normally that rocks your confidence but I thought he did a really good job of not letting that first one get to him; he caught every single one after that,” he said.

“We got a bit too stuck on kicking to him, but that’s not the only reason we lost. We lost because of the penalties we were giving away and with the pressure we were letting him off with.”

The Panthers go into their do-or-die clash against the Eels on Saturday bolstered by the return of fullback Dylan Edwards, with Moses Leota and Scott Sorensen also back from injury.

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The Panthers also breathed a sigh of relief over Yeo, Liam Martin and Viliame Kikau, who were cleared to play by the NRL’s match review committee. Yeo and Martin were cleared of suspected crusher tackles, while Kikau was handed a $2150 fine for dangerous contact.

Yeo said it was a major boost for the side going into the elimination final, and that the squad had not spoken about tackle technique this week as a result of the crusher tackle calls.

“It was a very big sigh of relief as it was the last thing I thought about when I fell asleep on Saturday night,” Yeo said.

“I feel like it probably didn’t look great but there was no force to the neck. I thought I tried to save it more than doing any harm. That’s how [the NRL] saw it too, which I’m obviously very happy about. At this time of the year, you don’t want to be missing games.”

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