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Panthers vs Warriors
NRL, 6 July, 2018
|Fulltime - Panthers 36, Warriors 4|
|Referee: Ben Cummins|
|Touch judges: Nick Beashel & Ricky McFarlane|
|Video Referee: Luke Patten|
Round 17 of the NRL season continues as the Penrith Panthers play host to the New Zealand Warriors. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 7:55pm (AEST).
The top eight is arguably close to sorted after the Broncos’ win over the Raiders last weekend, but the race for the top four is still up for grabs.
Only two competition points separate the third-placed Storm and eighth-placed Brisbane. The Panthers and Warriors are the fourth and fifth-ranked teams, so a win here becomes extra important.
Penrith have been hit by injuries all season and it looks like it may have finally caught up with them, after back-to-back losses against the Roosters and Sea Eagles.
It doesn’t get any easier this round, with James Maloney, Nathan Cleary and Tyrone Peachey all out on State of Origin duty. Tyrone May and Jarome Luai are called up in the halves, while Waqa Blake returns from injury to replace Peachey. Corey Harawira-Naera returns on the bench and Viliame Kikau has been named, but must be in serious doubt.
The Warriors have to contend with a few changes of their own, with Adam Blair returning from suspension at lock and Simon Mannering moving to the second row in place of the injured Tohu Harris. Ligi Sao replaces the injured Bunty Afoa on the bench, with David Fusitu’a and Ken Maumolo back on the wings.
The Kiwis will feel that last weekend’s game against the Sharks was the one that got away, yet have struggled against top-eight teams of late.
The Panthers have won four of the last five matches against the Warriors, but the away side go in at close to full strength, while Penrith lose their brains trust in the halves and arguably their best broken-field player in Peachey.
Warriors by 10.