The two teams that sit third on opposite ends of the ladder do battle at Panthers Stadium as the Penrith Panthers take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Panthers faced an understrength Sharks side on a two match losing streak and narrowly went down 26-22.
Trailing by 14 points in the last 5 minutes, the Panthers suddenly mounted a comeback, scoring two tries back to back but by then it was too little too late.
Whilst the Panthers had seemed to get the good end of the deal so far with the Moylan/Maloney swap, it was Moylan who left the victor on this occasion.
The Bulldogs were absolutely toothless in attack against the Roosters, unable to register a single point in an old fashioned slugfest that saw them go down 0-6.
They had plenty of favourable field position in their favour but it wasn’t capitalized on and the loss continued the unsolved problem of their attacking woes.
The Panthers retain the same 17 that were defeated by Cronulla last time out.
The Bulldogs are also unchanged. Without a great deal of depth options, if they’re going to fix their attack it’ll be down to the same 17 that registered a 0 to turn things around.
The Panthers and Bulldogs last met in Round 3 where the Dogs narrowly prevailed 20-18. Up until Round 7 it was the only loss the Panthers had suffered for the year and it’s been one of only two matches the Dogs have won this year.
Moses Mbye was the star that day as he proved to be a nightmare to contain for Penrith, scoring a double and tearing the defence apart with his running game.
The Dogs are going to need a big performance from their halves if they’re to mount a better offensive display than what they’ve served up for most of the year. Their forwards gain them the metres but the halves are unable to turn the opportunities into points.
Kieran Foran is going to need to be barking mad with orders so he can take charge across the team and by extension the game. The quality of his kicking game alongside Jeremy Marshall-King’s is going to be the difference maker against the Panthers.
The left side edge defence for Penrith of Watene-Zelezniak, Whare and Maloney are going to need to raise their performance after conceding three tries down that side last week After an improved defensive performance the past few weeks, it all crumbled again and considering the Dogs exploited that side in their last game for a victory, they’ll need to lock that edge down.
Moses Mbye has scored 5 tries against the Panthers in his last 5 matches against them.
Panthers: 1 Dylan Edwards, 2 Christian Crichton, 3 Corey Harawira-Naera, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Tyrone Peachey, 7 James Maloney, 8 Trent Merrin, 9 Peter Wallace ©, 10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11 Viliame Kikau, 12 Isaah Yeo, 13 James Fisher-Harris
Interchange: 14 Sione Katoa, 15 Jack Hetherington, 16 Moses Leota, 17 James Tamou
Reserves: 18 Wayde Egan, 19 Nick Lui-Toso, 20 Thomas Eisenhuth, 21 Kaide Ellis
Bulldogs: 1 Moses Mbye, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Jeremy Marshall-King, 7 Kieran Foran, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Michael Lichaa, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Josh Jackson ©, 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13 Adam Elliott
Interchange: 14 Asipeli Fine, 15 Danny Fualalo, 16 Greg Eastwood, 17 Kerrod Holland
Reserves: 18 John Olive, 19 Rhyse Martin, 20 Renouf Toomaga, 21 Matt Frawley
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday April 27th
Venue: Panthers Stadium
WHO WILL WIN?