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We come to Game 2 of the Magic Round of football live from Brisbane, with the Wests Tigers ‘hosting’ the Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium. Join The Roar from 6pm (AEST) for live scores and blog of the game.
It is the return leg in the Cleary Cup, with the Wests Tigers the nominal home side.
The Tigers welcome back Benji Marshall and Oliver Clark for the game, in which the Tigers are surprising favourites.
I say that they are ‘surprising’ favourites, because the Panthers are currently on a five-game winning streak against the Tigers.
Of course, streaks are only as good as the most recent teams lining up, and while the Tigers were not exactly good last weekend, losing to the Sydney Roosters on the back of a one-man wrecking machine performance from Latrell Mitchell is no sense of disgrace.
And surely, while there was thought to be added incentive for the Tigers to send Ivan Cleary a message in the last match-up, the manner in which the Tigers last that game is even more added incentive for the Tigers to reverse the last-start scoreline.
How the Tigers lost that game, I will honestly never know.
The key for the Tigers, as long as they can get that defence in order, will once again be to ensure that the Marshall-Farah combination is on song from the get-go.
The Tigers currently have a negative differential going into this match, but if they can keep the points ticking over in attack, they should be able to hold the Panthers out.
As for the Panthers, well, those two wins seem like a life-time ago, and the departure of Gus Gould almost even longer.
The Panthers were not particularly good either against the Raiders, but again, much like losing to the Roosters, losing in Canberra these days is no disgrace.
The problem for the Panthers is that attack.
The Penrith defence is as bad as you would expect from a team running second last, but the surprising manner in which the team has failed to score points is somewhat staggering.
A representative level halves pairing, big menacing forwards, and sharp finishers out wide, the Panthers should be scoring a lot more than they are.
Tonight would be just the right occasion, with just the right opponent, to get everything popping.
All good streaks come to an end, and the Tigers are surely in line to break the unfortunate losing streak against the Panthers, and take out the Cleary Cup until next season.
Tigers by 12.
Join The Roar from 6pm (AEST) for live scores of the game, and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comments section below.
Kick-off: 6pm (AEST)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV: Live, Fox League,
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports
Betting: Tigers $1.86, Panthers $1.98
1. Moses Mbye, 2. Mahe Fonua, 3. Robert Jennings, 4. Esan Marsters, 5. Corey Thompson, 6. Benji Marshall, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Ben Matulino, 9. Robbie Farah, 10. Alex Twal, 11. Ryan Matterson, 12. Chris Mcqueen, 13. Matthew Eisenhuth.
Interchange: 14. Jacob Liddle, 15. Thomas Mikaele, 16. Oliver Clark, 19. Elijah Taylor
1. Caleb Aekins, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Dean Whare, 4. Tyrell Fuimaono, 5. Dallin Watene-Zalezniak, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. James Tamou, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11. Frank Winterstein, 12. James Fisher-Harris, 13. Sione Katoa.
Interchange: 16. Moses Leota, 17. Tim Grant, 18. Jarome Luai, 19. Kaide Ellis