Jem Nash previews the Friday night clash between the Panthers and Bulldogs at BlueBet Stadium.
Penrith Panthers Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Venue: BlueBet Stadium
Date: Friday June 3rd, 7:55pm AEST
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Robert Jennings 5. Charlie Staines 6. Kurt Falls 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Chris Smith 13. Matthew Eisenhuth 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Soni Luke 19. J’maine Hopgood 20. Lindsay Smith 21. Sunia Turuva 22. Preston Riki
Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton, Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo are out with Origin duties. Sean O’Sullivan will fill in again at halfback with Kurt Falls to make his NRL debut at five-eighth. Robert Jennings and Charlie Staines join the backline while Chris Smith and Matt Eisenhuth join the starting side in the forward pack. Api Koroisau will still be able to play after being named among the Blues reserves in a big boost for the home side.Embed from Getty Images
Bulldogs: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Jake Averillo 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Max King 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Corey Waddell 16. Chris Patolo 17. Ava Seumanufagai 19. Jackson Tapine 20. Bailey Biondi-Odo 21. Joe Stimson 22. Corey Allan 25. Kurtis Morrin
Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been promoted to the starting side in place of Corey Waddell, while Ava Seumanufagai has joined the bench with Joe Stimson dropping back to the reserves
Referee: Todd Smith
The Panthers struggled immensely last season without their Origin stars and now we’ll see if they can fare any better this year. Sean O’Sullivan performed very well in Nathan Cleary’s absence through the first three rounds of the competition, and now he’s joined by talented debutant Kurt Falls in the halves.
The Bulldogs showed plenty of fight in last week’s loss to the Dragons and they will know they are a very real chance against a shorthanded Panthers side. It comes down to whether the worst attack in the competition can crack the league’s best. The Bulldogs have struggled all year to score points and the pressure is now on Matt Burton and Kyle Flanagan to back up their solid outing a week ago in one of the toughest matchups, even against an under strength team.
Sitting two wins clear on top of the ladder, if the Panthers can pull through the Origin period better than they did a year ago, they’ll feel confident of obtaining their second minor premiership in three years.Embed from Getty Images
The Panthers have enjoyed dominant victories over the Bulldogs in their last four meetings, winning by a combined score of 132-16.
Panthers by 10.
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