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The NRL preliminary finals continue tonight as the Penrith Panthers take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:50pm (AEDT).
The race for the second grand final spot concludes tonight. Will it be the minor premiers or a team that has found its best form at the right time?
The Panthers will go for their 17th victory in a row tonight. Anything less than a victory now though will cloud the pride in that winning streak. You’d think Ivan Cleary’s young team would be feeling nervous, but there were no signs of that when they beat the Roosters in their semi-final clash.
Some of the Panther young guns had their finest games against the Roosters. Jarome Luai was dynamic in attack and his inside ball to Stephen Crichton made all NRL fans sit up and applaud. The Roosters also couldn’t control Dylan Edwards, who outplayed James Tedesco on the night. The Panthers will need to see more of this.
Nathan Cleary will have to be at his best, as will James Fisher-Harris.
The suspension of Viliame Kikau is a big loss for the Panthers, and he is replaced by Kurt Capewell. Spencer Leniu gets a spot on the bench.
In both semi-finals to date, the South Sydney Rabbitohs have fallen well behind before storming home to win comfortably. Playing the minor premiers, you’d have to doubt that they could get away with that again tonight.
I don’t think the Rabbitohs pack ever really got on top of the Eels. But they did match them, especially in the second half, and that was enough for their classy set of backs to run riot. Souths will know that if they can control Fisher-Harris, Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker can create enough chances to win.
The Rabbitohs are unchanged from last weekend. Jaydn Su’A was in some doubt with a knee injury but has been cleared to play.
We have a 50/50 game here tonight.
The Panthers do lose a potent threat on the left edge through the suspension of Kikau. South Sydney have also shown us that they just back their attack to score more points than the opposition.
But against the Eels, the Rabbitohs also had a high error rate. The Panthers will take advantage of that to win a cliffhanger.
Penrith Panthers by 2.
Kick-off: 7:50 pm (AEDT)
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
TV: Nine, Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel, NRL Live Pass, 9Now
Odds: Panthers $1.47, Rabbitohs $2.75
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. Kurt Capewell 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Interchange: 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Moses Leota 17. Zane Tetevano
1. Corey Allan 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Dane Gagai 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su’A 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cameron Murray
Interchange: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Liam Knight 16. Jed Cartwright 17. Keaon Koloamatangi