The Penrith Panthers will host the Cronulla Sharks at Pepper Stadium on Easter Sunday at 4pm (AEST).

Last Time Out

The Penrith Panthers had a tough week last week against the Rabbitohs going down by one point in front of 15,535 fans. The Panthers displayed determination in the final four minutes after sending Michael Oldfield over to level the score at 20-all. However, Souths halfback Adam Reynolds stepped up and secured the win for the Rabbitohs after kicking a field goal with 39 seconds of the game remaining. The Panthers will hope to bounce back at home after the close contest last week.

The Cronulla Sharks had a successful campaign in challenging wet conditions down at AAMI Park last week. A re-match of last year’s grand final definitely didn’t disappoint after scores were locked at 2- all for majority of the game before Maloney kicked a field goal with 10 minutes remainingin the 70th minute. The Sharks were than able to capitalise after a Billy Slater error in the 73rd minute as James Segeyaro scored after following through on his own grubber kick. The Sharks will be looking to make it their fourth consecutive win in a row.

 

Key Battle

The key battle will be between the two fullbacks who have a huge responsibility for their side, Matt Moylan (Panthers) and Valentine Holmes (Sharks).

With the talk around Moylan over the past couple of weeks following suspension and questions about captaincy, no doubt pressure and the limelight will be on him this week. No doubt the media attention can cause some distraction but may also trigger passion and determination to perform at 110% and assist his side to victory.

On the other hand, Valentine Holmes has played a crucial role within the Sharks victories this season contributing with a lot of metres.  He will be looking to play a huge role against the Panthers and boost his teammates and lead with metres in hope of the win.

 

Prediction

Both sides have a good chance and will be determined to secure the two-points from this round. The Panthers will be looking to utilise the home-side advantage and impress fans after the disappointing loss at home last week. The Panthers will also be looking to turn around the media attention after the distracting couple of weeks regarding captain Matt Moylan. Although the Cronulla Sharks will be going in confident after their victory against the Melbourne Storm and will be looking to make it their fourth consecutive win.

With the Cronulla Sharks x factor from last week James Segeyaro, out with a broken arm have to go Panthers by 6.

 

Team List

Penrith Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Waqa Blake 3. Dean Whare 4. Tyrone Peachey 5. Dallin Watene Zelezniak 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Regan Campbell-Gillard 11. Isaah Yeo 12. James Fisher-Harris 13. Trent Merrin 14. Corey Harawira 15. Leilani Latu 17. Viliame Kikau 18. Sitaleki Akauola 19. Moses Leota 20. Tim Browne 21. Peta Hiku 22. Bryce Cartwright

 

Cronulla Sharks:  1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jack Bird 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Gerard Beale 6. James Maloney 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Chris Heighington 16. Jeremy Latimore 17. Kurt Capewell 18. Tony Williams 19. Joseph Paulo 20. Sam Tagataese 21. Fa’amanu Brown