Jem Nash previews the Friday night match between the Panthers and the Warriors in Penrith.
Penrith Panthers Vs New Zealand Warriors
Venue: BlueBet Stadium
Date: Friday August 26, 6:00pm AEST
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Matthew Eisenhuth 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Charlie Staines 18. Sunia Turuva 19. J’maine Hopgood 20. Chris Smith 21. Kurt Falls 22. Lindsay Smith
Jarome Luai returns in the halves in a massive boost for the Panthers while James Fisher-Harris is also back from suspension. Jaeman Salmon drops out of the side, with Matthew Eisenhuth moving back to the bench and J’maine Hopgood dropping into the reserves.Embed from Getty Images
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Viliame Vailea 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Edward Kosi 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Tohu Harris 16. Eliesa Katoa 12. Josh Curran 13. Bunty Afoa 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Dunamis Lui 17. Tom Ale 21. Ben Murdoch-Masila 18. Adam Pompey 20. Rocco Berry 22. Daejarn Asi 23. Taniela Otukolo 24. Jackson Frei
Chanel Harris-Tavita returns from injury in place of Daejarn Asi. Jack Murchie is out with a hip injury, with Josh Curran coming into the starting side and Dunamis Lui starting from the bench. Ben Murdoch-Masila will also play his first game since injuring his elbow in round 14. Euan Aitken is out due to personal reasons.
Referee: Chris Butler
The Warriors crashed back down to earth last week. A week after a big win over the Bulldogs, they were simply outclassed by a far superior Cowboys side in a 48-4 demolition. It doesn’t get any easier this week against the Panthers who locked down the minor premiership in an impressive win over the Rabbitohs a week ago.
If the Warriors are to be any chance, they need big performances from their forward pack led by Addin Fonua-Blake and Tohu Harris. Harris has one of the few shining lights in a tough season for the Warriors and has become a key organiser in attack alongside Shaun Johnson while continuing his workhorse efforts in defence.
Coming off their win last week, the Panthers will be full of confidence, particularly with Jarome Luai and James Fisher-Harris returning to the side. This should be an easy one to lock up as they continue to gain momentum heading into finals footy.Embed from Getty Images
The Panthers and Warriors have faced each other 44 total times, with Panthers winning 27 of those to the Warriors 16 and one draw. Penrith have won their last five match ups, including a 40-6 win back in round 15.
Panthers by 22
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