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The first Friday night clash of Round 15 sees two hot teams – the Penrith Panthers and Cronulla Sharks go at it. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary at 6pm (AEST).
The Panthers, who are currently in pole position, are flying in every sense of the word. They seem to be playing with great freedom and flair, hugely with confidence.
The Sharks, who have had a relatively easy schedule, look to start their tough finish with the biggest scalp of the competition. Last time they met, the Panthers stopped the Sharks’ winning form and gave them a reality check.
The Sharks will need to continue winning, to keep their top eight chances afloat, whereas the Panthers will try to claim the minor premiership.
Shaun Johnson v Nathan Cleary: The battle of the in-form halves. Cleary has been what everyone expected of him, all he needed was a steady hooker. He is leading his team around with maturity and playing with such grit and toughness.
On the other side, the rebirth of Johnson is well underway. With more responsibility, SJ has come back to his best. In possibly career-best form, Johnson knows he has his work cut out for him. Whoever wins will definitely be led by their no.7.
I was tempted to pick an upset here, as I think the Panthers need a bit of adversity leading into the finals, but I do think they’ll have too much class for the Sharks here.
Panthers by 8
Kick-off: 6pm (AEST)
Venue: Panthers Stadium, Sydney
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel, NRL Live Pass
1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Tyrone May, 4. Stephen Crichton, 5. Brent Naden, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. James Tamou, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Villame Kikau, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench/Reserves: 14. Daine Laurie, 15. Spencer Leniu, 16. Moses Leota, 17. Zane Tetevano, 18. Mitch Kenny, 19. Brian To’o, 20. Matt Burton, 21. Billy Burns
1. Will Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Jesse Ramien, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Matt Moylan, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Aaron Woods, 11. Siosifa Talakai, 12. Wade Graham, 13. Toby Rudolf
Bench/Reserves: 14. Connor Tracey, 15. Scott Sorensen, 16. Jack Williams, 17. Royce Hunt, 18. Teig Wilton, 19. Briton Nikora, 20. Braydon Trindall, 21. Bryson Goodwin