NRL match preview: Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers

Date: Sunday May 18
Venue: GIO Stadium
Kick-off: 2pm


Raiders: Anthony Milford, Reece Robinson, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Mosese Pangai, Terry Campese (c), Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Glen Buttriss, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Jarrad Kennedy, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Matt McIlwrick, Joel Edwards, Paul Vaughan, Dane Tilse, Mitch Cornish, Shannon Boyd, Kyle O’Donnell, Sami Sauiluma

Panthers: Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Dean Whare, Jamal Idris, David Simmons, Jamie Soward, Peter Wallace, Sam McKendry, James Segeyaro, Brent Kite, Sika Manu, Tyrone Peachey, Adam Docker. Interchange: Matt Robinson, Jeremy Latimore, Isaah Yeo, Tim Grant


Canberra need a huge turnaround to have any chance against sixth-placed Penrith at GIO Stadium this Sunday.  Despite wins over South Sydney and Melbourne earlier in the season, their past two defensive efforts against Manly and New Zealand Warriors have raised questions about Ricky Stuart’s appointment at the club.  Furthermore, Anthony Milford’s confirmation of a move to Brisbane in 2015 has been distracting.Stuart has named twenty-one man squad for this clash as he tries to get the right combination to reverse the club’s fortunes.He has dumped Matt Allwood with Jack Wighton moving into the backline and Josh McCrone starting at seven.Mosese Pangai gets his chance ahead of Bill Tupou.  

Penrith on the other hand were solid in their victory over a sloppy Newcastle at Hunter Stadium last weekend. They now set their sights on back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Nigel Plum’s concussion last weekend rules him out of the game against his former club. Sam McKendry will start in his place with Tim Grant returning from injury on the bench.  Kevin Kingston will be sidelined for another week through injury.  

Jamal Idris is hitting his straps at the Panthers and will be looking to terrorise a weakened Raiders defense. Josh Mansour will be hoping for another big game after winning Man of the Match honours last weekend and fullback Matt Moylan has found his spot at the back and is starting to compliment halves Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace quite nicely.


Penrith are the stronger and more in-form of the two teams on paper and should run away with victory. Canberra will be keen to show their home fans that they can avoid a third straight heavy loss.

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