The battle of the big cats is sure to be a big one at Campbelltown stadium. These two sides had polar opposite performances in the first round, the Tigers roared against the lack-luster Rabbitohs, while Penrith struggled to find their feet as the Dragons played them off the park.

Last Time Out

The Panthers were merciless the last time these sides met, downing the Tigers by 40 points to 10 at Pepper Stadium. The Tigers came out of the blocks hard, scoring in the 5th minute through Josh Addo-Carr, but from then the Panthers went on to score 40 unanswered points as the Tigers struggled to maintain the likes of Waqa Blake, Bryce Cartwright and Nathan Cleary. A dazzling consolation try to Mitchell Moses gave the Tigers something to watch in the highlights package, but it was all the Panthers on that cold night in the west of Sydney.

Key Battle

The future of the NSW Blues looks safe in terms of the number 7 jumper, and the two men wearing those numbers on Sunday are in contention for the spot. Much of the talk has been around Nathan Cleary’s credentials as the next long term NSW halfback. But after last week’s impressive performance, could fellow young gun Luke Brooks also be making a case for his name to be thrown into the mix? Whether they play origin or not, the two will be trying to out-do each other all afternoon, in what should be an enticing match-up.

Prediction

If the form from round one is anything to go by, put all your money on the red hot Tigers. But the thing with rugby league is you can never really trust a team’s form, especially after one game. Penrith will be well and truly up for a fight in this game, but the Campbelltown crowd will be right behind their team, and a Tigers team with confidence is one of the hardest teams to beat.

Tigers by 10

Squads

Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers at Campbelltown Stadium, 4pm (AEDT) Sunday

Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Kevin Naiqama 4. Michael Chee-Kam 5. Moses Suli 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Ava Seumanufagai 11. Sauaso Sue 12. Chris Lawrence 13. Elijah Taylor 14. Tim Grant 15. Josh Aloiai 16. Jamal Idris 17. Jack Littlejohn 18. Joel Edwards 19. Justin Hunt 20. Jordan Rankin 21. Wesley Lolo

Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Dean Whare 3. Waqa Blake 4. Tyrone Peachey 5. Dylan Edwards 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Regan Campbell-Gillard 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin 14. James Fisher-Harris 15. Leilani Latu 16. Tim Browne 17. Moses Leota 18. Sitaleki Akauola 19. Dallin Watene Zelezniak 20. Mitch Rein 21. Viliame Kikau