Round 3 Preview: Bulldogs vs Panthers



Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs Penrith Panthers
Friday 23rd March
ANZ Stadium
6:00pm NSW, 5:00pm QLD, 8:00pm NZ

 Bulldogs:
  1.  Moses Mbye
  2. Brett Morris
  3. Josh Morris
  4. William Hopoate
  5. Marcelo Montoya 
  6. Jeremy Marshall-King
  7. Kieran Foran
  8. Aaron Woods
  9. Michael Lichaa
  10. David Klemmer
  11. Josh Jackson
  12. Raymond Faitala-Marinar 
  13. Aiden Tolman
Interchange: 
    14. Adam Elliot
    15. Asipeli Fine
    16. Danny Fuilalo
    17. Fa'amanu Brown

Reserves:
    19. Francis Tualau
    20. Kerrod Holland


Panthers:

     1. Dylan Edwards
     2. Josh Mansour
     3. Waqa Blake
     4. Dean Whare
    21. Christian Crichton
     6. James Maloney
     7. Nathan Cleary
     8. James Tamou
     9. Peter Wallace
    10. Regan Campbell-Gillard
    11. Viliame Kikau
    12. Isaah Yao
    13. Trent Merrin

Interchange:
    14. Tyrone Peachey
    15. Corey Harwira-Naera
    16. Moses Leota
    17. James Fisher-Harris

Reserves:
    18. Sione Katoa
    19. Nick Lui-Toso

Game Preview:

Well, The Panthers have gotten off to a flying start in 2018 with two big come from behind wins against the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Both games the Panthers got off to a slow start conceding a lot of points and very quickly, but had to rely on putting on points late in a game.

On the plus side, the Panthers have been solid in defence in the first two rounds conceding 0 points in the second half of both games. The Bulldogs on the other hand haven't done much in the way of showing the competition what they are capable of yet. They had a good contest against the Storm in Round 1, which I believe the scoreline doesn't reflect how the Bulldogs played, however their Round 2 match-up against the Roosters was quite lack luster. 

If the Bulldogs are to get their first win of the season then this game could be it. However they need to get off to a fast start and capitalize early.

Key Match-up: Battle of the Halves

This match-up will be one to notice, Matt Frawley has been dropped by Dean Pay and has been replaced by Jeremy Marshall-King who will partner Kieran Foran. However it all depends on the chemistry that these two have. I believe that Foran needs to run this offence and put all the pieces in play and just yet the young kid play off the back of him.

On the other side of the ball however is a half in which is getting more and more experience as the games go on in Nathan Cleary. Cleary is having a great start to the 2018 season, and being partnered with a veteran in James Maloney is only making him play better. Cleary could be on track to make his NSW debut this season, however he still has a lot of football left to play this year before then to show everyone that he is ready to take the reins.

My Prediction:

I believe that the Panthers will get the hold over the Bulldogs, however anything could be possible if the Bulldogs get off to a fast start. The key to victory for the Panthers will be to try and not get off to a slow start. They need to score early and not let off. If they can manage this I believe the Forwards will get Maloney and Cleary in good field position where they can just run the Bulldogs around until they get tired. Panthers by 14.

-Fewy

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