2023 NRL Preview Round 5: Raiders Vs Panthers

The Raiders host the Panthers on Friday night as both sides seek their second win of the season.



Canberra Raiders Vs Penrith Panthers
Venue: GIO Stadium
Date: Friday, March 31, 6:00pm AEDT


Raiders: 1. Sebastian Kris 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Matt Frawley 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Harawira-Naera Interchange: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Pasami Saulo 17. Corey Horsburgh Reserves: 18. Brad Schneider 19. James Schiller 20. Peter Hola 21. Trey Mooney 22. Jarrod Croker

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Zac Hosking 13. Isaah Yeo Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon Reserves: 18. Matthew Eisenhuth 19. Jack Cogger 20. Chris Smith 21. Kurt Falls 22. Tom Jenkins

Referee: Adam Gee

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There are a couple of changes for both sides in this match, with Jordan Rapana back from suspension on the wing, with James Schiller making way. Halfback Jamal Fogarty returns, with Matt Frawley moving to five-eighth to cover the suspended Jack Wighton.

For the Panthers, Garner is being rested and Scott Sorensen replaces him in the second row, with Zac Hosking keeping his spot after an impressive club debut. Soni Luke is out after suffering a concussion with Tyrone Peachey named on the bench, while Lindsay Smith will make his fifth NRL appearance.

Both teams come into this clash on the back of losses, with Panthers going down to the Eels in a golden point thriller while the Raiders gave up a 14-8 half time lead against the Knights, losing 24-14.

The Panthers are yet to quite kick into gear in 2023, averaging just under 15 points a game in attack. On a positive note, their back three is as formidable as ever, with Edwards, Turuva and To’o combining for 872 metres last week, while their defence still remains one of the best in the competition during the early stages of the season.

The absence of Wighton will be a big loss for the Raiders, and they will need a strong performance from Fogarty to be able to penetrate a stingy Panthers defence. They will require a full 80-minute performance, as lapses in concentration have stung them in the first four rounds. While Penrith are yet to reach their best footy, they’re still more than capable of punishing mistakes.


Raiders 2, Panthers 8


Panthers by 4.

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