Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Round 23 continues tonight when the Penrith Panthers take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 8.05pm (AEST).
We get another clash of the heavyweights tonight when second and third on the ladder face off.
With these teams likely to play again in the first week of the finals and no home ground advantage applying this season, a win is not essential. However, a win will give a large confidence boost ahead of the finals campaign.
Penrith eased away to a comfortable 34-16 win over the Dragons last round, but in many ways it was a scrappy win. The Panthers haven’t yet reached the levels that they were achieving pre-Origin, but that may not be too far away.
Nathan Cleary returned for the Panthers last week and will be better for the run. However, it was Matt Burton who stood out against St George. He was simply unstoppable at times and the Bulldogs will be looking forward to his switch over in the off season.
There are a few confirmed changes for the Panthers and some possible late inclusions. Api Koroisau returns from suspension and sends Mitch Kenny to the bench. Kurt Capewell returns on the bench.
James Fisher-Harris and Tevita Pangai Junior are listed in the reserves and may be elevated.
Wayne Bennett has got the Rabbitohs peaking at the right end of the season. Their 36-6 win over the Gold Coast was all over at half-time, with Souths up 24-0 at the break. A mistake-riddled ending affected the winning margin but victory was never in doubt.
With the Rabbits pack going forward, Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell basically did as they pleased and looked on another level compared to the Titans backline.
They go into this match with a stronger line-up. Dane Gagai is back on deck, as are Alex Johnston and Campbell Graham. Hame Sele comes onto the interchange, with Jaydn Su’A pushed to the reserves.
This is truly a toin coss. The Panthers and Storm have looked a class above the rest of the competition for most of the season.
However, that gap is starting to shrink with both the Rabbits and Sea Eagles potential challengers.
I’m not sure the same result will be repeated in a few weeks’ time, but the Rabbits seem to be in slightly better form at the moment. I think they will get up in a tight one.
South Sydney Rabbitohs by 2.
Kick-off: 8:05pm (AEST)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV: Nine, Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo, Foxtel, NRL Live Pass
Odds: Panthers $1.68; Rabbitohs $2.18 (odds via PlayUp)
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Stephen Crichton 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Matt Burton 5. Brent Naden 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Matthew Eisenhuth 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Interchange: 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. J’maine Hopgood 17. Kurt Capewell
1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Josh Mansour 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Mark Nicholls 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray
Interchange: 14. Benji Marshall 15. Jacob Host 16. Tevita Tatola 17. Hame Sele