Panthers Test Finals Credentials

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au
Matt Moylan has been a real find for Penrith this season. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 8, 2013 – Sydney Roosters 30 d Penrith Panthers 6 at Allianz Stadium
Round 20, 2012 – Penrith Panthers 28 d Sydney Roosters 16 at Penrith
Round 2, 2012 – Penrith Panthers 18 d Sydney Roosters 0 at Allianz Stadium
Round 18, 2011 – Sydney Roosters 34 d Penrith Panthers 26 at Allianz Stadium
2nd Semi Final, 2010 – Sydney Roosters 34 d Penrith Panthers 12 at Allianz Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 16    Rd 17    Rd 18    Rd 19    Rd 20
Panthers

W

W

W

L

L

Roosters

W

W

-

W

W


The Panthers  finals aspirations will be on the line when they tackle the high-flying Roosters  at Penrith on Friday night, with back-to-back defeats to the Knights and Sharks seeing the side drop out of the top eight in the past fortnight. Crippled by injury throughout the season, the Panthers have blooded several youngsters during the current campaign and will be hoping the likes of Isaac John and Matt Moylan can step up against one of the competitions benchmark sides. Josh Mansour and Mose Masoe return from injury on the bench against Sydney, with Sam Anderson dropping out of the squad.

With Sonny Bill Williams copping a two week ban for a careless high tackle on Willie Mason in his sides 28-12 victory over Newcastle last weekend, Mitchell Aubusson will take the Kiwi superstars place in the backrow. Aidan Guerra was arguably unlucky to lose his place in the side last week after having his best game of the year against the Sharks in round 19 and returns on the bench following Aubusson’s promotion.

1st Tryscorer

Young winger James Roberts  has been on fire since being recalled to the Panthers side in round 16, with six tries from his past five matches. He bagged both of Penrith’s tries against the Sharks last weekend.

The Panthers failed to defend their line against Sharks fullback Michael Gordon last week, who scored two tries from solid support play. Having seen how effective that tactic worked against Penrith, the Roosters are likely to try the same tricks in attack and Anthony Minichello  could be the main beneficiary.

Prediction

Penrith looked to be charging into the finals having scored three straight wins between round 16 and round 18 but has had its momentum stopped in the past fortnight with defeats to the Knights and Sharks. The Roosters on the other hand have continued their charge towards the top of the table with five straight wins and are just two points away from top spot. Trent Robinson’s men have conceded just 12 points in their past three outings and another solid defensive display will be enough to see them register another win. Sydney Roosters by 12

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