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Penrith Panthers vs Cronulla Sharks NRL preview and prediction

Matthew Moylan of the Sharks catches the ball. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
12th July, 2018
1

The fourth-placed Panthers host the sixth-placed Sharks at Penrith Stadium in a Friday night showdown.

Penrith, without their Origin players, stunned the Warriors last week 36-4, snapping a two-game losing streak.

After Jerome Luai’s sensational debut last week, the Panthers have another debutant, with Caleb Aekins named at fullback in place of the injured Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. James Maloney, Nathan Cleary and Tyrone Peachey are in the reserves list and will be a chance of backing up from Origin 3.

As for Cronulla, they are fresh off a bye, while their most recent game was a last-gasp 18-15 victory over the Warriors in Auckland.

A former Panther returns for the Sharks here, with Wade Graham back from injury in the second row, pushing Scott Sorensen to the reserves. Aaron Woods remains on the bench, despite making a solid debut for the club against the Warriors in New Zealand.

Verdict
Matt Moylan will be up for a big game against his old club, and Penrith will be under more duress with players backing up from Origin, as well as the Sharks having had a 14-day break.

Expect a quality game, but Cronulla have a good record at Penrith, and they will earn a close win.

Sharks by 1-8.