2018 NRL – Canberra Raiders vs Penrith Panthers Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 08th June, 09:00 (UK)

Where? GIO Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=RAI1418

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

RAIDERS

Head Coach: Ricky Stuart

Starting 13: Wighton, Cotric, Croker, Leilua, Rapana, Austin, Sezer, Lui, Havili, Boyd, Soliola, Whitehead, Papalii – Interchanges: Hingano, Bateman, Gubb, Knight – Reserves: Oldfield, Muchie

Unavailable: Josh Hodgson, Junior Paulo, Joe Tapine

  • Canberra defeated Manly in a last-gasp win in their last encounter. It was the perfect way for the Raiders to go into their bye week with Jack Wighton’s 75th minute try followed by Aidan Sezer’s 79th minute field goal sealing a narrow 21-20 win Canberra.

  • Canberra’s 17 remains unchanged from the team that defeated Manly but Sia Soliola reverts to the second row with Josh Papalii switching to lock.

  • The Raiders sit four points outside of the top 8 with them needing to improve their ratio of points scored to points conceded in order to find some more consistency. They are currently averaging the same number of points scored per game as they are conceding per game (21.8).

PANTHERS

Head Coach: Anthony Griffin

Starting 13: Watene-Zelezniak, Crichton, Peachey, Whare, Phillips, Maloney, Cleary, Merrin, Katoa, Campbell-Gillard, Harawira-Naera, Yeo, Fisher-Harris – Interchanges: Egan, Ellis, Kikau, Tamou – Reserves: May, Eisenhuth, Lui-Toso

Unavailable: Sam McKendry, Waqa Blake, Josh Mansour, Dylan Edwards, Moses Leota, Peter Wallace, Jack Hetherington

  • Penrith’s title credentials were highlighted to the whole of the NRL when they put up a superb performance to leapfrog St George into top spot in their last game. The Panthers dominated and didn’t concede a try as they were ran out 28-2 winners.

  • The Panthers’ Origin stars have all pulled through okay and have been named to play their second game in three days. In the only change to the team that beat the Dragons in Round 12, Kaide Ellis comes onto the bench in place of the suspended Jack Hetherington.

  • With an all-round performance that laid a marker for the rest of the season, the Panthers dominated in all areas against the Dragons. They made six linebreaks whilst not allowing the Dragons to break their line once. In another impressive stat, they made 44.1m per set on average, whilst restricting St George to just 35.7m per set.

THE PREDICTION

Backing up after Origin is always a tough ask, especially when the turnaround is so short. However, the four Panthers who helped the Blues to a win in Game 1 have all put their hand up to take the field again 48 hours after their Origin triumph. That might be in part due to how well Penrith are going this season. The Panthers produced a brilliant performance to knock St George off the top of the ladder with Penrith taking their place. They now travel to the nation’s capital to face a Canberra side that are desperate for a win to keep their top 8 hopes intact. The Raiders won a narrow contest last time out against Manly but face a much sterner test against the league leaders. Much will depend on how the Panthers’ Origin stars back-up but they should have enough to win regardless.