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5 days ago
Cheeky Penrith halfback Jarrod Sammut admits the Panthers' cold start to the NRL season has left him scared to chance his arm for fear of plunging the club deeper into the mire.
The Panthers slumped to an 0-2 record with a pathetic 20-16 home loss to Canberra on Saturday night, Penrith unable to take advantage of a Raiders side left with just two fit players on the bench for the second period.
The one bright spot on a dismal night was the performance of Sammut in the No.7 jumper, the pocket rocket doing his best to carry the Panthers home and cement his spot as the heir apparent to longtime playmaker Craig Gower.
Weighing in at 75kg and standing 169cm tall, Sammut needs every bit of self-confidence to get by in a game dominated by 100kg-plus muscle men.
But the 21-year-old admitted he had been left second guessing himself after consecutive losses to start the season, revealing he was forced to question his natural instincts against the Raiders.
"There's always things that run through your mind where maybe I want to try something individually or for the team, but considering the situation with the time or the score, you sometimes hold back a bit," Sammut said.
"At times I think like that a little bit.
"I try not to let it affect my confidence. Obviously it's not looking very positive but nothing ever runs smoothly.
"We've just got to make sure we fix what happens next."
Next is a meeting with an equally desperate South Sydney side, and while it may be a bit early to be calling it a 'must win' in just round three, the loser of next week's CUA Stadium battle will find themselves a fair way off the pace.
Based on Saturday night's showing Sammut will surely be handed the halfback jersey again for the clash with Rabbitohs, but the local junior claims he still has a fair way to go to nail down the spot with the likes of Joe Williams and Josh McCrone fighting for the berth.
"I wasn't really happy with my performance," Sammut said.
"There was so much more I could have done both directional-wise and backing my ability a bit more.
"As a seven or a six you've got to be there leading the men around and tonight I was a bit disappointed with that."
The Easter holiday period is playing havoc with Canberra's bid to assess injuries to fullback William Zillman and prop Scott Logan.
Both are likely to have to wait until Tuesday to undergo scans, Zillman facing season-ending knee surgery for the second straight year after suffering a suspected rupture to the ACL in his left knee.
Logan has a fractured cheekbone which is likely to keep him out for six weeks, though if scans confirm the bone has been displaced he could be out for two months.