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Round 18 of the NRL season continues as the Penrith Panthers host the Parramatta Eels at Panthers Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:55pm (AEST).
We are lucky enough to get a clash of two top four sides in Friday night football this week. For Penrith, it’s a chance to avenge their only loss of the season, way back in Round 5. For the Eels, it’s a chance to virtually cement their spot in the upper half of the eight.
The Panthers notched their 15th win of the season last round, but they were made to work hard against the Broncos, eventually flying back to Sydney with a 25-12 victory.
While the Panthers were below their best, we again got to see a pair of halves in Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai who are potentially the best in the competition. Dylan Edwards also had a massive game, running almost 300 metres.
Isaah Yeo returns from a head knock at lock, with James Fisher-Harris returning to prop and Moses Leota going back to the bench. Kurt Capewell is out of the 17.
There are serious questions being raised about the Parramatta Eels, as they are struggling to regather the form they had earlier in the season.
They survived against the Warriors 24-18 last round after being pounded by the Rabbits the previous week. The attack against the Warriors was pedestrian, relying on kicks to get the job done. That is unlikely to be enough this weekend.
Reed Mahoney has been named to start but he is in some doubt with a shoulder injury. Andrew Davey comes onto the bench in place of Marata Niukore.
These local derbies are normally tight clashes so we shouldn’t expect a lot of points tonight.
The Panthers are the form team however and have class across the park – they will keep their winning streak alive.
Panthers by 6
Kick-off: 7:55pm (AEST)
Venue: Panthers Stadium, Penrith
TV: Channel Nine, Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel, NRL Live Pass
Odds: Panthers $1.36, Eels $3.20
1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Brent Naden, 4. Stephen Crichton, 5. Brian To’o, 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. Tyrone May, 15. Spencer Leniu, 16. Moses Leota, 17. Zane Tetevano, 18. Mitch Kenny, 19. Kurt Capewell, 20. Matt Burton, 21. Charlie Staines
1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Jai Field, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Ryan Matterson, 13. Nathan Brown
Bench/Reserves: 14. Ray Stone, 15. Andrew Davey, 16. Kane Evans, 17. Oregon Kaufusi, 18. Haze Dunster, 19. Stefano Utoikamanu, 20. Will Smith, 21. Samuel Hughes