Last Start Winners Lock Horns

Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au
Trent Merrin has been in great form this season. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 10, 2012 – Penrith Panthers 13 d St George Illawarra Dragons 12 at Panthers Stadium
Round 26, 2011 – St George Illawarra Dragons 32 d Penrith Panthers 12 at WIN Stadium
Round 17, 2010 – Penrith Panthers 12 d St George Illawarra Dragons 8 at WIN Stadium
Round 22, 2009 – St George Illawarra Dragons 25 d Penrith Panthers 6 at Panthers Stadium
Round 12, 2009 – St George Illawarra Dragons 38 d Penrith Panthers 10 at WIN Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 6    Rd 7    Rd 8    Rd 9    Rd 10 
Dragons

W

L

L

L

W

Panthers

L

W

L

W

W


Former Kangaroos centre Matt Cooper and hooker Mitch Rein have been named to return for the Dragons  clash with the Panthers  on Saturday afternoon after recovering from respective toe and ankle injuries that kept them out of their sides 32-12 win over Parramatta in round 10. Their inclusion will be a big boost for club, which broke a three game losing streak with victory over the hapless Eels.

With the Panthers scoring the second biggest win in the history of the club with their 62-6 demolition of the Warriors at home last week, it is no surprise that the only change Ivan Cleary has made to his squad is a forced one, with Ryan Simpkins replacing the injured Sam Anderson on the bench. Although Penrith has won three of its past four matches, all of those wins have come at home and they have won just two of their past fourteen away games.

1st Tryscorer

Josh Dugan  hadn’t played a game of footy since lining up for the Raiders on the opening weekend of the season but burst back into the NRL with a stellar performance against Parramatta in his first game for the Dragons. He scored a brace against the Eels and will continue to spark St George Illawarra in attack.

The Panthers wreaked havoc against the Warriors last weekend, running in ten tries in what was the second largest win in the history of the club. Lewis Brown  was one of Penrith’s best collecting two tries and providing an assist for another in that match and is clearly relishing his move from the second row to the backline.

Prediction

The addition of Josh Dugan against Parramatta last week undoubtedly provided spark that was missing from the Dragons attack earlier in the season but their win over the Eels needs to be put in perspective. The Eels have won just two of their past nine matches and the in-form Panthers will present a much sterner challenge for St George. A week prior to their 56 point drubbing of the Warriors, Penrith knocked off defending premier Melbourne and can take their winning form to Kogarah, despite the fact that the Dragons have won 12 of their past 15 there. Penrith Panthers by 2

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