The Panthers remain undefeated after an unconvincing draw last week, but will face a Warriors side who produced a near-perfect performance against the Dragons. Jem Nash previews the round four clash between the two sides.
The Panthers got off to a fast start against the Knights last week, but they weren’t able to put them away, despite their opposition losing Mitchell Pearce and Connor Watson inside the opening 10 minutes. The Panthers dominated possession and territory but only managed the two tries in 90 minutes of football. With Nathan Cleary out for one more week, Matt Burton and Jarome Luai will have to step up in the halves to help their side produce more points.
New Zealand Warriors
The Warriors produced a record-breaking performance against the Dragons last week, completing 46 out of 48 sets in the win, including 44 straight sets. They also kept the Dragons scoreless in one of their best wins in a long time. The New Zealand side have won many fans in 2020 and last week’s output would have surely won them many more.
1 Caleb Aekins 2 Josh Mansour 3 Dean Whare 4 Stephen Crichton 5 Brian To’o 6 Matt Burton 7 Jarome Luai 8 James Tamou 9 Apisai Koroisau 10 James Fisher-Harris 11 Viliame Kikau 12 Kurt Capewell 13 Isaah Yeo 14 Mitch Kenny 15 Zane Tetevano 16 Moses Leota 17 Liam Martin 18 Brent Naden 19 Billy Burns 20 Jack Hetherington 21 Charlie Staines
Only one change for Penrith: Liam Martin comes onto the bench in place of Billy Burns.
New Zealand Warriors
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2 Patrick Herbert 3 Karl Lawton 4 Gerard Beale 5 Ken Maumalo 6 Kodi Nikorima 7 Blake Green 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9 Wayde Egan 10 Adam Blair 11 Eliesa Katoa 12 Tohu Harris 13 Isaiah Papali’i 14 Jack Murchie 15 Poasa Faamausili 16 King Vuniyayawa 17 Josh Curran 18 Chanel Harris-Tavita 20 Hayze Perham 21 Adam Pompey 22 Leivaha Pulu
Karl Lawton is in the centres, replacing the injured Peta Hiku, while Agnatius Paasi is suspended, with Poasa Faamausili and Josh Curran joining the bench.
The Panthers have a good record against the Warriors, having won five of their past seven games against them.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Tohu Harris v Isaah Yeo
There’s some intriguing match-ups across the park this weekend, but this game could come down to the forwards. Warriors back rower Tohu Harris was everywhere for his side last week, amassing 219 run metres and 48 tackles in a monumental effort, while Isaah Yeo was probably the Panthers’ best against the Knights, making 62 tackles and 225 run metres. Similar efforts from these hard workers this weekend could lead their side to victory.
Prediction: Warriors by four.
Date: Friday, June 5.
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium.