Penrith play down concerns after loss, Luai-Salmon talk

Penrith have rejected Latrell Mitchell's claims of worries in the Panthers' camp, adamant one loss is no cause for concern and that heated on-field talks between players are a positive.

Thursday night's showdown with Mitchell's South Sydney looms as crucial for the Panthers, as they fight to avoid going 0-2 for the first time since 2016.

Mitchell stoked the fire when he cheekily claimed this week cracks were emerging in the Panthers' windscreen, after their 13-12 loss to Brisbane in the opening round.

Penrith have now lost two games in a row by that scoreline, after also being beaten by St Helens in last month's World Club Challenge.

But after losing the likes of Viliame Kikau and Apisai Koroisau in the off-season, the two-time defending premiers care little for the suggestion rivals can sense blood in the water.

"I didn't care, didn't mind. That's just Latrell. He loves that cheek," backrower Liam Martin said.

"I'm sure he's just stirring. We don't really buy into it or mind. We don't listen to too much external noise, we just review it ourselves internally."

One thing the Panthers are adamant about is there is no issue between Jarome Luai and Jaeman Salmon.

Friday night's loss was overshadowed by a heated on-field debrief between the pair, where Luai questioned why Salmon hadn't pushed up hard enough in a play late in the match.

Salmon could be heard telling the five-eighth in response that he was too tired.

Martin was also adamant the argument was testament to Penrith's culture, rather than a question of it.

"That's what we've built here with our culture. Ivan (Cleary) always speaks about it - the hardest thing is pulling people up," Martin said.

"They've built a culture here when someone's not doing what is right for the club, they can pull them up and hold them accountable.

"I'm on the receiving end every training session from Jarome. I always hear him yelling across.

"There is nothing wrong with it. It would probably be worse if they glazed over it and didn't speak about it."

Star fullback Dylan Edwards also backed the pair, noting the only difference between this and other conversations was that it was caught on camera.

"It happens all the time," Edwards said.

"That's just rugby league. It's high octane, emotions are going and people need to be held accountable for where you want to be on the field.

"I've been on the receiving end and I've given a few too.

"If you need a spray, then you get a spray. That's important to the team."

Edwards also insisted the walls were not caving on the Panthers after their World Club Challenge and round-one loss.

"We created enough opportunities to win that game on the weekend," he said.

"Credit to the Broncos for scrambling well.

"We're training hard. We're obviously disappointed with the result but our mindset stays the same no matter the result."