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2021 NRL Round Four Preview, Sea Eagles Vs Panthers

Jem Nash previews the Thursday night clash between the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Lottoland, Date: Thursday, April 1, Time: 8:05pm AEST

Sea Eagles Team

  1. Dylan Walker
  2. Jason Saab
  3. Brad Parker
  4. Moses Suli
  5. Reuben Garrick
  6. Kieran Foran
  7. Daly Cherry-Evans
  8. Taniela Paseka
  9. Lachlan Croker
  10. Martin Taupau
  11. Jack Gosiewski
  12. Josh Schuster
  13. Jake Trbojevic
  14. Cade Cust
  15. Morgan Boyle
  16. Sean Keppie
  17. Josh Aloiai
  18. Tevita Funa
  19. Morgan Harper
  20. Toafofoa Sipley
  21. Christian Tuipulotu

Team Changes

IN: Morgan Boyle
OUT: Toafofoa Sipley

Panthers Team

  1. Stephen Crichton
  2. Charlie Staines
  3. Paul Momirovski
  4. Matt Burton
  5. Brian To’o
  6. Jarome Luai
  7. Nathan Cleary
  8. Moses Leota
  9. Mitch Kenny
  10. James Fisher-Harris
  11. Viliame Kikau
  12. Kurt Capewell
  13. Isaah Yeo
  14. Tyrone May
  15. Spencer Leniu
  16. Matthew Eisenhuth
  17. Liam Martin
  18. Scott Sorensen
  19. Billy Burns
  20. J’maine Hopgood
  21. Jaeman Salmon

Team Changes

IN: Nathan Cleary
OUT:
Dylan Edwards

Referee: Matt Cecchin

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Sea Eagles

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It has been a horror start to the season for the Sea Eagles as they remain winless and on the bottom of the ladder. Their smallest margin so far was the 14-point loss against the Rabbitohs in round two. Des Hasler has his work cut out for him as they look to turn their season around before it gets too far out of hand. There’s no doubt the return of Tom Trbojevic will help immensely, but until then it’s up to the senior players to get their season back on track.

Panthers

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It’s been a near-perfect start to the season for the Panthers. They currently sit on top of the ladder after a thrilling victory last week against the Storm. The only concern comes with the early injuries they have had to deal with. Api Koroisau is still on the sidelines, while Dylan Edwards suffered a broken hand in last week’s win. Nathan Cleary returns this week (a major boost to the side), while Stephen Crichton will shift to fullback, and Matt Burton will move into the centres.

PREVIEW

The Sea Eagles’ season is in danger of slipping away early and it doesn’t get any easier for them as they face a Panthers team who is in red hot form to start the year. The Panthers will take plenty of confidence away from their stunning win in the grand final rematch against the Storm in round three: a late Kurt Capewell try and a miracle defensive play from Viliame Kikau sealing the win.

The Panthers will definitely miss Dylan Edwards at the back, but Crichton is a handy replacement and will provide a constant threat right across the field. Burton at centre is an interesting choice, but coach Ivan Cleary will look for the young half to get involved in the play as much as possible.

For the Sea Eagles, if they are any chance of walking away with a win, their forward pack needs to get on top early and allow Daly Cherry-Evans to control the game. The Manly halfback is yet to register a try assist in 2021 and his battle with Nathan Cleary will be an important match-up.

KEY STAT

The Sea Eagles have conceded the most points in the competition through three rounds (110), while the Panthers have conceded the least (10).

PREDICTION

Panthers by 14.

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