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2021 NRL Round 13 Preview, Tigers Vs Panthers

Jem Nash previews this round 13 clash between an under strength Panthers against the Tigers. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Leichardt Oval, Date: Friday, June 4, Time: 7:55pm AEST

Tigers

1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Adam Doueihi
4. Tommy Talau
5. James Roberts
6. Moses Mbye
7. Luke Brooks
8. James Tamou
9. Jacob Liddle
10. Alex Twal
11. Luke Garner
12. Luciano Leilua
13. Alex Seyfarth
14. Stefano Utoikamanu
15. Shawn Blore
16. Tom Amone
17. Thomas Mikaele
18. Michael Chee Kam
19. Jake Simpkin
20. Tukimihia Simpkins
21. Kiah Cooper

Team Changes

IN: Stefano Utoikamana
OUT: Joe Ofahengaue

Panthers

1. Dylan Edwards
2. Charlie Staines
3. Stephen Crichton
4. Paul Momirovski
5. Robert Jennings
6. Matt Burton
7. Tyrone May
8. Spencer Leniu
9. Mitch Kenny
10. James Fisher-Harris
11. Viliame Kikau
12. Scott Sorensen
13. Matthew Eisenhuth
14. Jaeman Salmon
15. J’maine Hopgood
16. Lindsay Smith
17. Izack Tago
18. Brent Naden
19. Eddie Blacker
20. Sunia Turuva
21. Kurt Falls

Team Changes

IN: Dylan Edwards, Robert Jennings, Mitch Kenny, Jaeman Salmon, J’maine Hopgood, Lindsay Smith, Izack Tago
OUT: Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Brian To’o, Isaah Yeo, Liam Martin, Api Koroisau, Kurt Capewell, Moses Leota

Referee: Grant Atkins

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Tigers

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Joe Ofahengaue is out this week after being selected in the Maroons squad, with Alex Seyfarth promoted to the starting side and Stefano Utoikamana comes on to the bench. The Tigers are coming off a strong 34-18 win over the Dragons last week, and have a real chance against the undefeated Panthers this week who have seven players out due to State of Origin. It’s been a rough season so far but they’re starting to find some better form in recent weeks.

Panthers

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The Panthers face their biggest challenge of the season where their depth will truly be tested. Three players will make their NRL debut for the Panthers in Jaeman Salmon, Lindsay Smith and Izack Tago, and the absence of their star half pairing of Cleary and Luai will definitely make things tougher, but they have a handy replacement in Burton and May taking their place. With the amount of players missing, they do receive a boost with fullback Dylan Edwards returning to the side.

PREVIEW

The Tigers have seen some improvement in recent times, having won two of their three matches, but even against an undermanned Panthers they will be up against it this weekend. With eight of their regular first graders missing, they still have a talented side taking the field and you don’t reach 12 wins in a row on talent alone.

One of the more intriguing battles to watch will be that of the fullbacks. Tigers’ Daine Laurie will take on his former side and their top fullback Dylan Edwards. Laurie has arguably been the Tigers’ best player so far this season, scoring four tries, five try assists and five line breaks. He’s a dangerous runner of the football, amassing 53 tackle breaks and an average 147 run metres through 12 games. Edwards has struggled through a couple of minor injuries but still remains a key cog in the Panthers wheel. His kick defusal is one of the best in the competition and is also a strong runner.

Michael Maguire’s decision to move Moses Mbye to five-eighth was certainly contentious but it’s paid off well. He is back to finding some of his best form while Doueihi has continued his strong play in the centres. The combination of Mbye and Brooks in the halves will be key against the due of Burton and May who have limited experience playing together.

KEY STAT

The Panthers have dominated this battle in recent years, winning six of their past seven encounters.

PREDICTION

Panthers by 8

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