Panthers plan to keep supporting skipper Moylan

Matt Moylan takes part in a Panthers training session in Sydney
Matt Moylan takes part in a Panthers training session in Sydney PAUL MILLER

PENRITH Panthers star Matt Moylan is "worried about the respect he gets from referees'' and the club will continue to work with him on his captaincy.

Moylan was prepared to throw in the captaincy to focus on his own game - and Panthers general manager Phil Gould confirmed their skipper was "taking responsibility for things he probably shouldn't worry about''.

Gould said Moylan would lead the club "for this week'' against defending premiers Cronulla at Pepper Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

He is also expected to take the time to sit down with Moylan in the coming days and convince him why he should stay in the top job.

Moylan looked in good spirits at training on Wednesday and spent plenty of time deep in conversation with coach Anthony Griffin and Peter Wallace, the man who stood in as skipper last Friday when Moylan was one of three players stood down for a booze breach.

"I think Matt worries about the respect he gets from referees, and he worries about all sorts of things a young fella worried about when he's a captain and the team isn't winning, and it's only natural'' Gould said in his weekly Six Tackles with Gus podcast on the Wide World Of Sports.

"We'll keep supporting him through that process.


Moylan during a training session in Sydney
Moylan during a training session in Sydney PAUL MILLER


"We're not giving up on Matt Moylan as our leader in our club, and Matt Moylan is not giving up as leader in our club.

"We'll work with that as we go along, but he's certainly captain this week when they take on the defending premiers, and he has a big job to do.''

Gould later said Brad Fittler was not comfortable with captaincy when he young, ''but he eventually warmed to it and by the end of his career became one of the great leaders and greatest captains I've been involved in''.

Wallace is expected to be anointed the new captain should Moylan not have a change of heart and pull the pin in the coming weeks.

The 25-year-old fullback believes having less responsibility on and off the field will allow him to recapture the sort of form that earned him an Origin berth last year and Mal Meninga calling him into the Four Nations squad.

Penrith also welcome back Waqa Blake and Peta Hiku, who stayed out late in Melbourne with Moylan and also missed the South Sydney game.

Senior Panthers players were aware of the pressures that came with being skipper, but backed Moylan to get the job done.

"Whatever decision he makes on captaincy we'll support him, but for the time being he'll be our captain,'' prop Leilani Latu said.

Trent Merrin added: "It's a tough gig to captain a first grade team, no matter how old you are.

"You'll have your highs and lows, but we come together as a team and do the best we can individually to make that job easier for him. Everyone has his back.''

Topics:  matt moylan nrl panthers penrith

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