2018 NRL – Penrith Panthers vs New Zealand Warriors Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 06th July, 10:55 (UK)

Where? Panthers Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Nine Network, 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=PAN1718

THE STATISTICS


THE LOWDOWN

PANTHERS

Head Coach: Anthony Griffin

Starting 13: Watene-Zelezniak, Crichton, Blake, Whare, Phillips, May, Luai, Merrin, Katoa, Tamou, Kikau, Yeo, Fisher-Harris – Interchanges: Egan, Harawira-Naera, Hetherington, Leota – Reserves: Aekins, Ellis

Unavailable: Sam McKendry, Josh Mansour, Dylan Edwards, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Tyrone Peachey, James Maloney, Nathan Cleary

  • Penrith suffered a shock defeat at home to Manly last week. The Panthers struggled throughout and completed at just 66% with the Sea Eagles able to ease them out by 10 points to 18.

  • The Panthers must do without halfback pairing James Maloney and Nathan Cleary who are on Origin duty for the Blues. Tyrone May and Jarome Luai will form a new partnership in the halves. Tyrone Peachey has also been called up with Waqa Blake making a timely return from injury to slot in at centre. Corey Harawira-Naera is also back from injury and replaces Kaide Ellis.

  • The defeat for Penrith last week was just the second loss the Panthers have suffered when playing a home fixture and the first time they have tasted defeat at Panthers Stadium this season.

WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Kata, Maumalo, Green, Johnson, Gavet, Luke, Paasi, Papali’i, Mannering, Blair – Interchanges: Tevaga, Satae, Sao, Beale – Reserves: Vuna, Lawton

Unavailable: Nathaniel Roache, Leivaha Pulu, Bunty Afoa, Tohu Harris

  • New Zealand Warriors were on the end of a tough call that cost them the win at home to Cronulla last week. Leading 15-14 with three minutes left, Edrick Lee crossed for the Sharks off what appeared to be a forward pass to condemn the Warriors to a 15-18 defeat.

  • First choice wingers Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu’a return to the side with Anthony Gelling dropped and Gerard Beale taking a bench spot. Adam Blair is also back in the side at lock having served his ban which means Simon Mannering reverts to the second row in place of the injured Tohu Harris. Ligi Sao comes onto the bench for Bunty Afoa who is also injured.

  • Although they were harshly beaten last week, it highlighted the Warriors’ inability to put winning runs together. The Warriors now have a 5-5 record over their last 10 games.

THE PREDICTION

Penrith’s second loss in a row saw them drop to fourth on the NRL ladder and they now face the fifth-placed Warriors with an under strength side due to Origin call-ups. The Panthers come into the game without their halves pairing as they look to avoid a third straight loss and one that would cost them their top 4 spot. The Warriors should have won last week and will be keen to bounce straight back to reclaim the top 4 spot that they lost last week. With the race at the top becoming increasingly tight, a loss for either side could be critical at this stage of the season and a third straight loss for the Panthers could be on the cards here without their Origin stars.