Dylan Edwards has credited hooker Api Koroisau with helping unlock Penrith's attack this season and changing the way the club play.
Koroisau has run out of dummy-half more than any other player in the NRL on his return to Penrith, scooting out 36 times in the opening eight rounds.
That is in stark contrast to the Panthers' attack in 2019, where they averaged just six per game across the park and rarely used their No.9 as a running player.
Edwards has been among those to benefit most from Koroisau's charges, with the fullback now a regular threat in the midfield since his return from an ankle injury.
The pair combined for the match-sealing try in Saturday night's win over the Wests Tigers after Koroisau split the line open.
"It helps, dummy-half running helps ... It gets us on the front foot, and it's a lot easier playing footy on the front foot," Edwards said.
"He's a world-class player, you've just got to follow him pretty closely or make someone miss or put someone through a hole.
"Got a really good vibe with him and he's playing really well, I've just got to go off the back of him."
Koroisau's arrival came after Penrith failed to settle on a regular hooker last year, with Sione Katoa, Wayde Egan and Mitch Kenny sharing the duties.
The 27-year-old Fiji international has bust more tackles and broken the line more from dummy-half than any other player in the competition.
While coach Ivan Cleary did not discuss Koroisau's running game changing Penrith's attack when the player returned to the Panthers during the summer after four years at Manly, the impact has been significant.
His drive has allowed Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai to play off the front foot, with Penrith's attack firing on all cylinders and their forwards also buzzing.
Koroisau's arrival could not have come at a better time for the Panthers.
While he has been sorely missed at Manly, his running game has become even more important with the faster ruck speeds across the NRL.
"Exactly right (with the set restarts helping)," Koroisau said.
"You've got Nathan off the back of that and good forwards have good engines too.
"So everything just worked out for us.
"Jarome Luai is playing out of his skin, Nathan Cleary, our wingers in Josh Mansour and Brian To'o.
"Everything has just played a part and that has helped us get to where we are."
Australian Associated Press