Lachlan Jeffery previews Saturday evening’s clash between the Warriors and Panthers at Moreton Daily Stadium
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Ronald Volkman 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jazz Tevaga 11. Jack Murchie 12. Tohu Harris 13. Josh Curran 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 15. Aaron Pene 16. Dunamis Lui 17. Bayley Sironen 18. Freddy Lussick 20. Eliesa Katoa 21. Rocco Berry 22. Daejarn Asi 23. Addin Fonua-Blake
The Warriors lose Ben Murdoch-Masila and Euan Aitken following the loss to the Sharks. Ronald Volkman will make his first-grade debut at five-eighth, with Chanel Harris-Tavita moving to the bench, while Jesse Arthars replaces Rocco Berry at centre. Addin Fonua-Blake has been named among the reserves as he looks to return from injury.Embed from Getty Images
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Lauai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Robert Jennings 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. Chris Smith 21. Soni Luke 22. Thomas Jenkins
Isaah Yeo returns at lock for the Panthers, with Matt Eisenhuth dropping to the reserves.
Referee: Peter Gough
The Stacey Jones era at the Warriors began in much the same way as the Nathan Brown era ended – some early false hope, but ultimately disappointment. Despite a strong start against Cronulla, where they led 12-0 after 12 minutes, they quickly fell back into old habits, going down 38-16. Aside from the loss of Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jones will be concerned about the side’s edge defence, conceding five tries to Cronulla’s wingers.
Penrith’s disappointed Origin stars had a point to prove in their clash against Newcastle over the weekend and they did exactly that as they cruised to a 42-6 thumping. With only this week’s match left before State of Origin II, they will again be looking to remind fans why they have been so dominant.
The Warriors will be looking to turn their dismal season around having now suffered six straight defeats, however the task is made harder with Murdoch-Masila and Euan Aitken both ruled out due to injury this weekend. With Shaun Johnson coming under heavy fire for his poor form recently, he will be looking to lead his team to an upset. He is joined in the halves this week by debutant Ronald Volkman, who joined the club from the Roosters earlier this year.
The Panthers are again likely to be without coach Ivan Cleary this week as he battles his knee infection. Nathan Cleary will again be looking for his forwards to lay the platform, allowing his kicking game to blow the Warriors away.
The Warriors are already staring down the barrel of must-win territory, however the Panthers should be far too good as they aim for their fifth straight win in head-to-head matches between the teams. This will be the last chance for players to make an impression on national selectors ahead of Rep Round.Embed from Getty Images
The Panthers have won 14 of the past 18 matches against the Warriors, scoring at least 18 points in each of those wins.
Panthers by 20
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