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2022 NRL Round 19 Preview, Panthers Vs Sharks

Jem Nash previews this top four blockbuster between the Penrith Panthers and Cronulal Sharks on Saturday night.

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MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Penrith Panthers Vs Cronulla Sharks
Venue: BlueBet Stadium
Date: Saturday July 23, 5:30pm AEST

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 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. Matthew Eisenhuth 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Charlie Staines 19. Spencer Leniu 20. Chris Smith 21. Sunia Turuva 22. Sean O’Sullivan

All seven of the Panthers’ Origin players are back in the team, which means Lindsay Smith, Soni Luke, Robert Jennings and Kurt Falls fall out of the 22-man squad, with Charlie Staines, Chris Smith and Sean O’Sullivan named in the reserves. Mitch Kenny and Matt Eisenuth drop back to the bench after starting last week.

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Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 2. Connor Tracey 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Dale Finucane 14. Teig Wilton 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Braden Hamlin-Uele 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Braydon Trindall 19. Aiden Tolman 20. Kade Dykes 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Matt Ikuvalu

Siosifa Talakai returns after missing last week’s match with a shoulder injury, which pushes Connor Tracey to the wing to replace Sione Katoa who is out for the rest of the season with a pectoral injury. Briton Nikora is back from suspension in the second row which shifts Teig Wilton to the bench and Jesse Colquhoun to the reserves.

Referee: Ashley Klein

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

Both sides will come into this exciting battle with plenty of confidence, as the Panthers hunt a ninth-straight win while the Sharks are currently on a five-game win streak.

Penrith were able to grind out a win sans their Origin stars against the lowly Tigers last week, and with all their big names returning well rested they find themselves a massive eight points clear on top of the table with just seven rounds remaining. The Sharks were particularly impressive last week against the Cowboys in Townsville, and now sit in equal second place.

They won’t be lining up opposite each other but look for each left edge back rower in Viliame Kikau and Wade Graham to be an important factor in their side’s chances; both very different players but equally important. Kikau has been simply superb for the Panthers this year as part of a lethal left edge combination, and he was just as good last week with 138 metres with a try, line break, line break assist and a try assist. Graham poses a different kind of threat with his dangerous ball playing and kicking ability key to the Sharks’ attack alongside Talakai in the centres.

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INTERESTING FACT

The Sharks won their only match last year, 19-18 but prior to that the Panthers enjoyed wins in their last four games.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Panthers by 4

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