A depth of talent sets the agenda


MERCURY SPORT LEAGUE NRL Rugby :League match at WIN Stadium Wollongong between St George Illawarra Dragons WHITE and Penrith Panthers BLACK. Panthers players Jamal Idris and Jamie Soward celebrate antoher try to seal victorySunday 10 August 2014Pic by Andy Zakeli

MERCURY SPORT LEAGUE NRL Rugby :League match at WIN Stadium Wollongong between St George Illawarra Dragons WHITE and Penrith Panthers BLACK. Panthers players Jamal Idris and Jamie Soward celebrate antoher try to seal victorySunday 10 August 2014Pic by Andy Zakeli

THE secret behind Penrith's success in 2014 is simple: talent — and lots of it.

It's why even with a crippling injury toll the Panthers have been able to maintain their spot in the top four.

Unlike other teams in the NRL the Panthers have genuine depth.

Even without the likes of Peter Wallace, Elijah Taylor, Bryce Cartwright, Brent Kite and Tyrone Peachey, the Panthers NSW Cup still fielded 10 players with first grade experience.

Not surprisingly they lead that competition by eight points and wrapped up the minor premiership last week.

Experienced half Jamie Soward said it created a positive culture after he notched up another win against his former club St George Illawarra on Sunday 16-4 to keep the Panthers minor premiership hopes alive.

"Our lower grades are all performing well, so when a guy gets to come into first grade he's got to take his chance, because there's so many guys playing well," Soward said.

Rookie fullback Matt Moylan echoed Soward's statements saying they won't use injuries as an excuse as they prepare for their first finals campaign since 2010.

The Panthers will search for three wins in a row against the Cowboys next Monday.

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