Roberts set for Panthers debut

Amos Roberts is expected to play first grade for Penrith against the Canberra Raiders on Friday night after Brett Howland suffered a leg injury during the Panthers' 20-14 loss to Newcastle at the weekend.

Roberts played brilliantly in Premier League in round one, saving several tries and scoring two of his own early in the match.

Howland suffered a corked thigh and left the field early in the match. He didn't return but did attend the Panthers' recovery session on Saturday morning.

Panthers coach John Lang says a decision will be made on Howland's fitness early this week but its unlikely he will be able to play against the Raiders, who kicked off their premiership campaign with a victory over St George-Illawarra yesterday.

Howland didn't take part in running or stretching drills at Saturday's recovery session.

The Panthers aren't too concerned about their loss to the Knights on Friday night, especially considering they lost their opening two games last season and went on to win the premiership.

"Obviously we'll sharpen up our attack as the season goes on but I thought their defence was absolutely outstanding," coach John Lang said. "We could have got back and got square possibly, but their defence held up.

"They're a top side, Newcastle. If we had come out flat against them they would have beaten us by 26 points, not six."