Date: Saturday July 19
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello (c), Brendan Elliot, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Nene Macdonald, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce (vc), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (vc), Jake Friend (vc), Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Aidan Guerra. Interchange: Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Isaac Liu, Dylan Napa, Remi Casty, Heath L’Estrange
Panthers: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Josh Mansour, Dean Whare, Jamal Idris, Kevin Naiqama, Matt Moylan, Jamie Soward, Sam McKendry, James Segeyaro, Brent Kite, Sika Manu, Elijah Taylor, Adam Docker. Interchange: Lewis Brown, Jeremy Latimore, Nigel Plum, Bryce Cartwright, Isaah Yeo
Sydney Roosters will be looking for a much improved performance as they take on second-placed Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium this Saturday. Their last outing saw the Roosters go down to Cronulla 30-28 after leading with twenty-four unanswered points at the half hour. They welcome back Origin stars Aidan Guerra and Boyd Cordner, with Isaac Lui and Dylan Napa back to the bench. Daniel Tupou is expected to be out for six weeks after a back injury sustained in Origin III. Already without Michael Jennings, this means more pressure on Anthony Minichiello and Shaun Kenny-Dowall to spearhead the backline. Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney will need to play a big part against an improved Panthers outfit.
Penrith on the other hand played one of their best games of the season as they downed Brisbane by a point on Monday night. There was a double blow with Josh Mansour and Tyrone Peachey injured during the game. Mansour is named and set to play after his injury wasn’t as serious as first thought. Peachey not so lucky with a season ending pectoral tear. With Peter Wallace already missing, Penrith try their third halves combination in as many weeks with in-form Matt Moylan to play at six alongside Jamie Soward. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will play at fullback and will be a likely target for Maloney and Pearce under the high ball. Isaah Yeo is the eighteenth man as cover for Mansour.
It’s hard to see Penrith winning this game, backing up from four days compared to the Roosters fourteen days. Given this, the Roosters should win the contest but the Panthers won’t suffer the same type of heavy defeats handed out to them last year when these sides met.