Tough run for table-toppers

Competition: Panthers coach Ivan Cleary tries a meal prepared by students. Pictures: Gene Ramirez

Competition: Panthers coach Ivan Cleary tries a meal prepared by students. Pictures: Gene Ramirez

PANTHERS coach Ivan Cleary is preparing his team for one of the toughest runs into the finals.

The competition-leading Panthers face tough games against the Warriors, Brisbane, Roosters, Bulldogs and Sea Eagles.

"Our byes are close together, so we have 11 games consecutively after our bye; it's a big tough run," Cleary said.

"We feel like we are making progress . . . There are some things we need to iron out and it's about sticking solid under pressure when the money time comes around — which is not too far away."

The Panthers will shoot for six wins in a row when they take on Cleary's former club the New Zealand Warriors this week.

Fresh off the bye, the table-topping Panthers face a season defining month with games against the Warriors, Wests Tigers, Broncos and Roosters.

Cleary, Kevin Kingston and Nathan Smith were special guests at the Nepean Schools MasterChef competition last week.

Organised by Panthers on the Prowl and Penrith Outback Steakhouse, the competition involved six local high schools — Nepean, Jamison, Kingswood, Cranebrook, Glenmore Park and Cambridge Park.

Tori Schaecken from Cambridge Park High won the annual event.

■ The top-of-the-table Panthers NSW Cup team made it 10 wins in a row across all grades with a hard-fought 32-28 against North Sydney at the weekend.

The game also marked the return of Jamal Idris who was solid in the Panthers eighth win in a row.

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