Prelim Final Rematch

James Graham
James Graham will captain the Bulldogs for the 2015 season. Image courstesy of: rugbyleagueweek.com.au

Penrith Panthers Logo


Panthers v Bulldogs


Pepper Stadium

Sunday March 8 – Time 3:05 PM (AEST)


 

 


Canterbury Bulldogs NRL Logo


Penrith will be looking for revenge when they host Canterbury on Sunday after being knocked out of the finals last year by the boys from Belmore. 

Last year, the Panthers surprised everyone by making it all the way to the Preliminary Finals. Granted, they didn’t have the toughest draw in the competition, but off the back of solid defence and some Jamie Soward brilliance, the 'mountain men' went from being $26 outsiders to just missing the Grand Final. This year, there is so much expectation on the Panthers, with many tipping them to not only make the finals , but to finish in the Top 4 . Peter Wallace returns to captain the side after missing the majority of last season with an ACL injury, while George Jennings and Reagan Campbell-Gillard make their debut for the injured Josh Mansour (shoulder) and Nigel Plum (ankle).

The Bulldogs would still be seething after losing to the Bunnies in the premiership decider last year. Under coach Des Hasler, the Doggies have made the Grand Final on two occasions, failling both times to lift the trophy. After some solid recruitment in the offseason, most notably Brett Morris, they look primed for another big campaign. Anything but a Top 4 finish would be deemed a failure by the Dogs' faithful. The loss of captain Michael Ennis to the Sharks is a blow for Canterbury, but the signing of livewire rake Michael Lichaa is sure to keep the defence guessing. Hasler has picked Morris at fullback for Round 1, moving Sam Perrett the wing. New recruit Curtis Rona has the other. 

During the regular season last year, the Panthers got the best of the Dogs on two occasions. But Canterbury won when it counted, and that's been a bitter pill to swallow for Penrith players and supporters. Both teams are so evenly matched it’s hard to be certain who will walk away with the two points, but TattsBet customers are confident the Panthers can cover the spread .

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