Penrith Panthers vs Sydney Roosters: NRL live scores, blog
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Penrith Vs. Roosters
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 23 July, 2012
|Centrebet Stadium, Penrith, NSW|
|Penrith 28 defeated Roosters 16|
|Referee: Ashley Klein|
|Touch judges: Ricky McFarlane & Gavin West|
The Sydney Roosters face a test of character this afternoon as they look to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to Souths when they face the Penrith Panthers at Centrebet stadium. Join us for live scores and commentary from 3.00pm AEST
If they are any hope of playing finals football this season, the Roosters simply must win their remaining seven matches, starting today against wooden spoon contenders the Panthers.
But winning matches has proved difficult for Sydney this season, even when they are playing close to their best.
Against South Sydney on Monday night, the Roosters squandered a 10-point lead with barely a minute remaining, and eventually lost 24-22 in a match that dealt a hammer blow to their ambitions of a top eight finish.
Such a loss would cripple the confidence of any NRL side, let alone a struggling outfit like the Roosters.
Sydney’s confidence levels though must be high today if they are any hope of bouncing back with a win against Penrith.
The Panthers were competitive against the Tigers last week and will cause Sydney severe problems if the chooks fail to muscle up and play with the intensity that should have seen them secure a win against the Rabbitohs on Monday night.
For 79 minutes against South Sydney, the Roosters played with plenty of enthusiasm and showcased that they have the potential to match any side in the NRL.
Up front, the Roosters possess a mobile and physical forward pack that managed to get the better of their more fancied Rabbitohs counterparts.
The likes of Martin Kennedy, Boyd Cordner, Aiden Guerra and Mose Masoe played strongly on Monday night and will need to do so again if they are to match an imposing Panthers pack.
Despite getting beaten by the Tigers last week, Penrith forwards Luke Lewis, Sam McKendry, Tim Grant and Shane Shackleton performed well and will fancy their chances of getting on top of a Roosters pack that can lose its way when outmuscled.
The problem for the Panthers however remains their inability to put opposition to the sword.
Penrith halves Travis Burns and Luke Walsh went missing on numerous occasions against the Tigers last week, particularly in the second half where the Panthers had many chances to post points.
If the Panthers are to win today, Burns and Walsh need to dictate proceedings and demand possession whenever Penrith are on the attack.
With no love lost between these two sides since the 2003 grand final, the Panthers and Roosters should be favoured to play out a close contest.
With Sydney still a chance of playing finals football however, the Roosters may do just enough to emerge with a scrappy but valuable victory.
Roosters by 4