Panthers Fancied In Battle Of The 'Westies'

Image courtesy of abc.net.au, Photo: Getty Images/Matt Blyth
Parra halfback Chris Sandow is back in the NRL after seven months. Getty Images/Matt Blyth

Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers 
 Saturday, March 29 – 4.35 (AEST) 
Where: Pirtek Stadium

Form Guide:
Eels: WLL
Pen: WLW

Things You Need To Know:
Following a nail-biting win over the Bulldogs, the Panthers will be looking to build on that momentum. The Eels have endured an interesting start; a strong win over the Warriors, a huge loss to the Roosters, and a heart breaking last minute loss to the Sea Eagles. Chris Sandow makes his return in place of Luke Kelly. Ken Sio comes in on the wing in place of Vai Toutai and Joseph Paulo moves into the starting side in place of Ben Smith. Mitchell Allgood makes his return on the bench. The Panthers only have one change with boom halfback Peter Wallace reforming his prosperous new partnership with Jamie Soward, in place of Isaac John.

Reason To Watch:
All eyes will be on Chris Sandow as he steps back into the spotlight in his return to first grade. Sandow will be put to the test against Peter Wallace and Jamie Soward. Look out for Fijian bulldozer Semi Radradra as well...just don't go getting in his way.

Reason To Turn Away:
If you’re an Eels fan, this one could be ugly. Although the Eels have been playing some exciting footy, and have some brilliant attacking options, their inconsistency could prove to be their downfall Sandow’s return from an eight-month exile, designed to ignite the Eels, also has the potential to de-rail their chances.

Say What:
"To see him (Sandow) back in first grade will be good for the whole team...I know he’s been working really hard on his game” Parramatta teammate Willie Tonga on $500,000 a season halfback Chris Sandow’s return to first grade.

Final Word:
Comparing the form of the two outfits this season, the Panthers are looking just too hard to beat. Their footy has been brilliant, both in attack and defence, and they are shaping up to be top four bolters. Who knows what the Eels will dish up this Saturday, but it's the Panthers for us. Penrith by 10.

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