Penrith Panthers hardman Kaide Ellis is adamant that things are not as bad as they seem at the foot of the mountains as he bides his time waiting to make his first NRL appearance in 2019.
Ellis is in an extended squad for Penrith’s NRL Magic Round clash against Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night and could earn a spot on the bench if backrower Viliame Kikau is ruled out with an ankle injury.
Ellis made his debut for the Panthers under better circumstances last year but he is still confident of their chances this season despite the fact they are languishing in 15th position and are staring at the prospect of a fifth-straight loss.
“It’s only little things,” he explains.
“A few penalties and errors but we’re not handling them really well in games.
“It’s just the resilience of it, not being able to bounce back.”
Errors and general ill-discipline have been a constant issue for the Panthers and Ellis understands that fans are just as frustrated as the players.
“That’s the thing,” he concedes.
“We’re at the point now where we keep on doing it (making errors and conceding penalties) week in and week out.
“Iv (Ivan Cleary) deserves more wins than what he is getting at the moment, it’s just about making little improvements every week and cutting them out eventually.”
Kikau isn’t the only injury concern with Isaah Yeo (shoulder), Hame Sele (back) and Liam Martin (suspension) already ruled out to face the Tigers.
“It’s not good when the club is riddled with injuries,” Ellis admits.
“But that’s where opportunities start and if I do get a crack, I’ll have to make the most of it.
“It is hard when you get told you’re not playing but it’s all part of the process and learning on the way.”
While enjoying the company of his teammates in Canterbury Cup NSW, the 22-year-old has made no secret of returning to the NRL.
“No disrespect, but you’ve got to try be above everyone else,” Ellis said.
“I’ve been more focussed on the speed of the game – playing to the speed of the NRL at Cup level, that’s what I’ve tried to do.”