With neither side having set the competition alight in 2013 both the Penrith Panthers and St George Illawarra Dragons will be desperate to grab a win and stay in touch with the top eight at Centrebet Stadium tonight. Join us for live scores from 7:.0 pm AEST
Both the Dragons and the Panthers had a week off with the bye last weekend, and would have done well to make good use of their time to address a few issues from their last outings.
The Dragons struggled to score points in their Round 14 clash against the Cowboys, with their attack beginning and ending with mid-season recruit Josh Dugan.
The Panthers also found it hard to get across the stripe, but had a much more difficult assignment against the Raiders in the nation’s capital.
While they looked good in patches, their tendency to drift in and out of matches would be a concern for coach Ivan Cleary.
Given they’ve both recorded five wins apiece this year, you would expect this game to be a close affair.
However, when they met earlier this year the Panthers recorded a comfortable 19-nil shut out of the Dragons, and on their home turf will be strong favourites to do the same again.
For St George Illawarra to be any chance in this match they will need their sizeable forward pack to create some space so half Nathan Fien has some room to provide his outside backs with some quality ball, something made substantially harder with the absence of the suspended Trent Merrin (who, with the official line-up announced on Tuesday, still appears on the Dragons’ team sheet).
Penrith, on the other hand, will feel confident they have the firepower to beat the Dragons out wide if their forwards can hold their own, with winger David Simmons in particular in a rich vein of try scoring form.
If they can do this the men in black should make it a long night for the Dragons in the golden west.
Panthers by 10.