MATCH UP STATS
Round 10 resultsPenrith Panthers: Panthers 29 defeated Knights 18Wests Tigers: Tigers 20 defeated Cowboys 12
7.50pm Thursday May 17, 2018, at Panthers Stadium
One of the games of the round kicks off on Thursday night as the second placed Penrith Panthers host the Wests Tigers in Penrith.
Just when it looked like the West Tigers‘ season was slipping away they produce a spirited 8 point win over a desperate North Queensland Cowboys team that needed to win. Wests jumped out to an early two try lead and kept their opponents at arm’s length for the duration of the match.
The win kept the Tigers inside the top eight, one game clear of the ninth placed Brisbane Broncos.
The Panthers secured a position inside the top-two after a strong against the Newcastle Knights away from home.
The Novocastrians troubled the Panthers all game, and while the double figure margin on paper made it look like a one act affair, Penrith had to fight the match out until the final whistle en route to an 11 point win.
A similar hard fought affair is expected on Thursday night. Will the Panthers be able to maintain their strong run towards a top-four berth or can the Tigers deliver back-to-back upsets?
Players to watch – Panthers v Tigers
Panthers – Nathan Cleary: The talented halfback returns this week and teammate Trent Merrin believes “he’ll step into it like he hasn’t left.” Cleary will be keen to leave an impression on opposition coach and father Ivan Cleary, who returns to Penrith for the first time as a coach since his 2015 departure.
Tigers – Luke Brooks: Brooks has proved the doubters wrong in 2018, and he sits at the $17 quote for the Dally M medal at online bookmaker Sportsbet. Last week the talented 23-year-old opened the scoring for the Tigers, and he’ll need a similar impact on Thursday if Wests are to get up on Thursday.
Panthers Round 10 team
1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 2 Christian Crichton, 3 Isaah Yeo, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Tyrone Phillips, 6 Tyrone Peachey, 7 James Maloney, 8 Trent Merrin, 9 Peter Wallace (c), 10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11 Viliame Kikau, 12 Corey Harawira-Naera, 13 James Fisher-Harris
Interchange: 14 Sione Katoa, 15 Kaide Ellis, 16 James Tamou, 17 Jarome Luai
Tigers Round 10 team
1 Corey Thompson, 2 David Nofoaluma, 3 Esan Marsters, 5 Mahe Fonua, 20 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Benji Marshall (c), 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Russell Packer, 9 Elijah Taylor, 10 Ben Matulino, 11 Chris Lawrence, 12 Robbie Rochow, 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange: 14 Alex Twal, 15 Jacob Liddle, 16 Michael Chee-Kam, 17 Sauaso Sue
Panthers v Tigers – who will win?
The Panthers went a long way to proving they are the real deal this season with their 11 point win over the Knights last week, but there will be a lot more faith in Penrith if they can overcome the Tigers on Thursday.
The home side has made a habit of storming over the top of teams this season, but Thursday presents the perfect opportunity to jump out of the blocks against a side that has won just once in the past month of footy.
Another factor in Penrith’s favour heading into round 11 is their recent record against the Tigers.
The Panthers won both games last year against the Tigers by a combined 48 points and while a similarly dominating performance shouldn’t happen, we’re still backing Penrith to deliver an eighth win this campaign.
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